Combating Food Insecurity
An estimated 620,000 people, including over 200,000 children, in Greater Manchester are living in poverty and struggling to put food on the table. This includes many households with people in work, families with children, as well as older and disabled people.
The Department of Health defines food poverty as ‘the inability to afford, or to have access to, food to make up a healthy diet.’
Professor Tim Lang characterises the detrimental impact of food poverty: ‘Food poverty is worse diet, worse access, worse health, higher percentage of income on food and less choice from a restricted range of foods. Above all food poverty is about less or almost no consumption of fruit and vegetables.’
Renowned expert Professor Elizabeth Dowler adds that people should be able to access food in a socially acceptable way, defining food insecurity as ‘the inability to consume an adequate quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so.’
Food poverty, or household food insecurity, can be triggered by a crisis in finance or personal circumstances, but may also be a long-term experience of not being able to access a healthy diet or afford to eat well. In recent years, the top reason given for accessing a Food Bank has become ‘low income’ and a growing proportion of food bank referrals are due to benefit levels not covering the costs of essentials – these are not emergencies but long-term issues.
GM Food Poverty Alliance
An alliance of people and organisations driven by the vision that Everyone in Greater Manchester should have affordable access to good quality food.
GTM was invited to Chair the 'Food Banks and Beyond' and is now looking at how we might secure funding to implement the aims developed by the group.