The changing face of food poverty with special reference to Wales

Beck, DJ ORCID: 2018, The changing face of food poverty with special reference to Wales , PhD thesis, Bangor University.

Download (7MB) | Preview


As a marker of current austerity policies, the growth of the emergency food aid landscape has become recognisable through the ‘food bank’. These places of charitable food-redistribution have seen their presence increase within an evolving social policy context. Understanding food bank use as two modes of ‘experience’, this thesis has mapped both the quantitative geographical ‘experience’ of the food bank, alongside the qualitative ‘experience’ gained from understanding why people have turned to them for help. Attending to the quantitative rise of the food bank as a means of support, this thesis has recognised that there has been substantial changes within the recent socio-political landscape of the UK that have stimulated food bank growth as an inadequate response to rising levels of poverty. In approaching the knowledge construction of the geospatial distribution of food banks across Wales, this thesis provides clarity to the organisational structures of both; the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network, and independent food banks. As a social policy, the Welfare Reform Act (2012) has been concluded within this thesis as holding the bonds of responsibility for driving the quantitative rise in food bank numbers across Wales. Recognition of increased ‘need’ triggered the opening of food banks as a way of providing emergency relief where social security failed. This thesis has mapped the growth of food banks in Wales and has recognised further growth as being attended to the rise in neoliberal policies of recent governments (1998-2015). Employing several data collection methods, the qualitative experience of food poverty has been illuminated through semi-structured thematic interviews and focus group interviews conducted with service providers detailing how the changing landscape of social security, and the ways in which the rise in attitudes of individualism have changed the acceptability of social security. Analysed within a Constructivist Grounded Theory approach, the key conceptual themes within this thesis centre upon the rise of a deserving and undeserving attitude within poverty, and how this resides within a neoliberal attitude of structure and agency driven poverty. Service provider interviews have been augmented by biographical focused semistructured interviews with service users, detailing their experience of having to resort to food bank use as their only means of sustenance. Here service users identified with a deserving and undeserving narrative, identifying with the structural and agency driven poverty as a cause of food bank use. Applying this approach, service users placed a hierarchical attitude to food bank use and furthered this distinction between the deserving and the undeserving user.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Gwilym, H (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Depositing User: DJ Beck
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2020 13:57
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:41

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year