Beyond Food Charity
How can the food sector tackle household food insecurity?
Our May Business Forum discussed the role of the food sector in tackling food insecurity and emergency food support.
Charitable food assistance – the provision of food to people in need by charities – has grown significantly in the UK in the last decade. Major food companies are involved in a range of types of charitable food assistance projects – from corporates providing cash to school breakfast clubs, to major supermarkets donating food and money and much more. However, the ethical implications of this corporate involvement have not often been tested. How can food companies balance short-term emergency support to people in need with a longer-term response? And can they play a genuine, lasting role in tackling household food insecurity without first ensuring their own employees are paid and treated well?
We heard Frank Soodeen, Deputy Director External Affairs, Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Dr Hannah Lambie- Mumford, author of ‘Hungry Britain: the rise of food charity’ and research fellow at SPERI, University of Sheffield; and Isabel Bradbury, UK Food Donations Coordinator at the Pret Foundation. Geoff Tansey, Curator of the Food Systems Academy, former Chair of the Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty and member of the Food Ethics Council, chaired the meeting.