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An investigation into the prevalence and people’s experience of ‘food poverty’ within Causeway Coast and Glens catchments: Secondary analysis of local authority data

Furey, Sinead and Mahon, Pearl (2016) An investigation into the prevalence and people’s experience of ‘food poverty’ within Causeway Coast and Glens catchments: Secondary analysis of local authority data. In: Institute of Public Health Open Conference, Belfast. Institute of Public Health. 15 pp. [Conference contribution]

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Abstract

Food poverty – inability to afford or access a healthy diet – is becoming recognised as a public health emergency. This research secondary analysed Causeway Coast and Glen (CCAG)-sponsored household questionnaire data (n=362) to determine the affordability and accessibility of food, the social impacts of food poverty and to understand if particular catchments reported different experiences and appetites for local authority intervention to help overcome food poverty. Findings concluded that food poverty has reached a concerning level within the CCAG borough, with affordability and accessibility proving important points of concern. Two in five (41%) respondents reported being unable to comfortably feed themselves and their families three meals per day all of the time, and three in ten (31%) reported being forced to make a choice between food and other essentials. More than half of the respondents (54%) reported some anxiety about whether their budget would fulfil their food needs. An important minority (13% – 40%) cited their inability to afford social activities that their peers may take for granted. This sense of being socially excluded from both low-cost, routine to more expensive, occasional activities is worrying given how social inclusivity contributes to quality of life. Respondents indicated support for various local authority-organised activities including quality, local food and cookery demonstrations to help overcome the negative repercussions of food poverty. Policy makers and practitioners should consider these perspectives in devising evidence-informed and meaningfully-targeted interventions, while efforts must be ongoing to address the structural causes of food poverty for a truly sustainable solution.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Paper)
Keywords:Food poverty; Northern Ireland; Social exclusion; affordability; accessibility
Faculties and Schools:Ulster Business School > Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Ulster Business School
ID Code:36431
Deposited By: Dr Sinead Furey
Deposited On:13 Jan 2017 09:40
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:26

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