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This literature review sets out to explore some of the different discussions relevant to the subject of food poverty “in societies where systems for employment or welfare were thought sufficient to ensure universal food entitlement” (Dowler 19), in other words, the industrialised global North, where food poverty is not a question of supply failure (Dowler and O’Connor 20,47).This literature review uses food poverty and food insecurity interchangeably.
This leads them to conclude that dietary education is not the answer (ibid) to food poverty, but that solutions should be practical and direct, such as improving facilities.
They also highlight the importance of contextual information for effective response (Wicks et al 201), something that a quantitative survey would not be as well-suited for.
The measures include absolute quantitative measures, such as poverty lines based on calories (Dowler 19); relative quantitative measures, such as percentage of money spent on food (Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam 2013:4); and qualitative measures, such as the definition raised at a Food Partnership workshop:“when food ceases to be a pleasure and social tool for a family, and becomes a source of stress and ill-health” (2012b:4).
The most inclusive definition has been supplied by Dowler and O’Connor, which incorporates qualitative and quantitative measures.
Both terms refer to a concept that has both quantitative and qualitative components.
Literature Review On Food Security
Food poverty has been defined and operationalised for measurement in several ways.
This is also true for the parliamentary debate of food bank use (Commons Hansard 2013).
After excluding studies that rely on anecdotal data, we are left with two qualitative studies of the experience of food poverty.
Barriers to food security include food deserts, an area devoid of outlets with fresh foods (Caraher and Lang 192; Faculty of Public Health 2005:3; BHFP 2012b:2,4; Dowler and O’Connor 20), lacking knowledge about nutrition and budgeting or cooking skills (Caraher, Lang and Carr-Hill 197; Faculty of Public Health 2005; BHFP 2012b:4; BHFP 2013a), storing food and transport (Caraher, Lang and Carr-Hill 196-97; Dowler 19) as public transport may be unreliable, expensive or absent altogether.
Coping strategies include parental buffering (Dowler 19; Holmes 201), skipping meals (Holmes 204) and buying lower quality food at cheaper outlets (Caraher, Lang and Carr-Hill 195; Holmes 2007).