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Who uses foodbanks and why? Exploring the impact of financial strain and adverse life events on food insecurity

Who uses foodbanks and why? Exploring the impact of financial strain and adverse life events on food insecurity
Who uses foodbanks and why? Exploring the impact of financial strain and adverse life events on food insecurity
Background: rising use of foodbanks highlights food insecurity in the UK. Adverse life events (e.g. unemployment, benefit delays or sanctions) and financial strains are thought to be the drivers of foodbank use. This research aimed to explore who uses foodbanks, and factors associated with increased food insecurity.

Methods: we surveyed those seeking help from front line crisis providers from foodbanks (N = 270) and a comparison group from Advice Centres (ACs) (N = 245) in relation to demographics, adverse life events, financial strain and household food security.

Results: about 55.9% of foodbank users were women and the majority were in receipt of benefits (64.8%). Benefit delays (31.9%), changes (11.1%) and low income (19.6%) were the most common reasons given for referral. Compared to AC users, there were more foodbank users who were single men without children, unemployed, currently homeless, experiencing more financial strain and adverse life events (P = 0.001). Food insecurity was high in both populations, and more severe if they also reported financial strain and adverse life events.

Conclusions: benefit-related problems appear to be a key reason for foodbank referral. By comparison with other disadvantaged groups, foodbank users experienced more financial strain, adverse life events, both increased the severity of food insecurity.
1741-3842
676-683
Prayogo, E.
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Chater, A.
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Barker, Mary
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Chapman, S.
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Rahmawati, N.
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Waterfall, T.
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Grimble, G.
af7c8afe-aea9-4baa-9703-b31d3d9aef16
Prayogo, E.
4fb898e3-b65d-48aa-851a-eeb6090c3bef
Chater, A.
2bde9362-7cda-4865-bbe5-b285b6f1b843
Barker, Mary
374310ad-d308-44af-b6da-515bf5d2d6d2
Chapman, S.
fd50954c-e7e3-4971-8b96-a08c683b92d8
Rahmawati, N.
12c4dc2a-0b9a-4b2e-bb0d-99cecd1f1994
Waterfall, T.
1463802d-f0de-4dff-a6f2-d1d14e8ad2fe
Grimble, G.
af7c8afe-aea9-4baa-9703-b31d3d9aef16

Prayogo, E., Chater, A., Barker, Mary, Chapman, S., Rahmawati, N., Waterfall, T. and Grimble, G. (2018) Who uses foodbanks and why? Exploring the impact of financial strain and adverse life events on food insecurity. Journal of Public Health, 40 (4), 676-683. (doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdx133).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: rising use of foodbanks highlights food insecurity in the UK. Adverse life events (e.g. unemployment, benefit delays or sanctions) and financial strains are thought to be the drivers of foodbank use. This research aimed to explore who uses foodbanks, and factors associated with increased food insecurity.

Methods: we surveyed those seeking help from front line crisis providers from foodbanks (N = 270) and a comparison group from Advice Centres (ACs) (N = 245) in relation to demographics, adverse life events, financial strain and household food security.

Results: about 55.9% of foodbank users were women and the majority were in receipt of benefits (64.8%). Benefit delays (31.9%), changes (11.1%) and low income (19.6%) were the most common reasons given for referral. Compared to AC users, there were more foodbank users who were single men without children, unemployed, currently homeless, experiencing more financial strain and adverse life events (P = 0.001). Food insecurity was high in both populations, and more severe if they also reported financial strain and adverse life events.

Conclusions: benefit-related problems appear to be a key reason for foodbank referral. By comparison with other disadvantaged groups, foodbank users experienced more financial strain, adverse life events, both increased the severity of food insecurity.

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Edwina Prayogo REVISED_Who uses Foodbank and why_Cleanfile1 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 13 September 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 14 November 2017
Published date: December 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417515
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417515
ISSN: 1741-3842
PURE UUID: e4a0bd6d-6928-4c09-8cc3-e6a152cfba1e
ORCID for Mary Barker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2976-0217

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Feb 2018 17:30
Last modified: 10 Dec 2019 05:35

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