End the dependency on foodbanks and charities as a response to food insecurity and poverty

Dr Alison Briggs, Geography and Manchester Urban Institute (MUI)

Dr Alison Briggs

Dr Briggs is a Research Associate in Human Geography at The University of Manchester. Her research examines food insecurity through a relational lens to understand how intimate and social relations are (re) configured in this context and draws together understandings of food insecurity at both a personal and organisational/community level. She is influenced by a feminist ethics of care which involves taking a feminist methodological approach and utilises ethnographic methods.

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UK Foodbanks and charities are busier than ever as they struggle to support people facing the relentlessness of poverty, austerity and rising costs of living. As welfare states have receded, the voluntary sector has grown in importance, acquiring substantial collective responsibilities previously within the remit of the public sector.

Now is the time to...

  • move towards embedding cash-first approaches to supporting low-income households and away from the dominant charitable approach as a solution to issues of poverty;
  • expand Free School Meal Provision to all children in England;
  • end austerity and reinvest in a properly funded, fit-for-purpose social security system that supports people as needed through adequate, accessible and timely payments;
  • increase people’s incomes;
  • reform housing, including keeping housing costs as a share of household income in check.

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Read more about research in the Geography and the Manchester Urban Institute (MUI) at The University of Manchester.