The moral maze of foodbank use

Beck, DJ ORCID: and Gwilym, H 2020, 'The moral maze of foodbank use' , Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 28 (3) , pp. 383-399.

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Access Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Journal of Poverty and Social Justice. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Beck, D., & Gwilym, H. (2020). The moral maze of foodbank use. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, is available online at:


The foodbank symbolises a changing landscape of social insecurity and welfare conditionality. Attending to decision making within the foodbank system, this article argues that foodbanks, and their referral-system creates a bureaucratic ‘moral maze’ identifying people as ‘deserving’ or ‘undeserving’ of help. Maintaining a moral distance, organised religious foodbanks are reliant upon a complex outsourcing of moral decisions and walk a fine balance between supply (donations) and demand (use). Within this article, we argue that the foodbank landscape is akin to navigating a moral maze, and that this creates, and justifies decisions of deservingness.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Poverty and Social Justice
Publisher: Policy Press
ISSN: 1759-8273
Related URLs:
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2020 15:07
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 04:58

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