Research reports from our three community partners – Central and West Integration Network, Linwood Community Development Trust, and Borders Healthy Living Network are now available. Borders Healthy Living Network has also produced a video, which can be found below.
The research aimed to explore aspirations of food security and experience of food insecurity from people who do not routinely access food banks. The headline, if unsurprising, news is that while people know what is and aspire to eating a healthy diet their day-to-day experience is often constrained by low levels of disposable income. This affects their ability to afford healthy, adequate or culturally appropriate food, and the costs of travel to access it. Across the spectrum of food insecurity (severe, moderate or mild) people “cope” in a myriad of ways. These span from individual strategies such as eating only when hungry and skipping meals to budgeting and shopping strategies like buying cheaper less healthy food, using frozen veg to avoid waste or shopping at different times to access on the day reductions. People’s level of food insecurity also changes throughout their life course, with changes in employment status, household composition and other factors.
The researchers found that people can be reluctant to admit the level of their food insecurity, indeed one group found that some respondents thought they were doing okay, when their experiences would suggest mild levels of food insecurity.
A common facet reflected across each of the research teams was that sharing and coming together with others to eat was highlighted as an important and valued aspect of food security.
You can find the reports below and we have also supported the groups to produce infographics from the research findings.
Working with Evaluation Consultant, Lesley Greenaway, we have produced a set of resources on developing a community-led research project. These can be found in the Research section.