The Differential Cost of an Emergency Food Parcel and a Consensually Acceptable Basket of Healthy Food

Sinéad Furey, Martin Caraher

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Statement of the Problem: Food poverty - the inability to afford or access a healthy diet - manifests itself as the dilemma of putting food on the table alongside long-term effects of habitually consuming poor nutritional quality foods. Accordingly, food poverty has become a public health emergency. In response, food banks have increased rapidly and demand for their assistance has grown. Food banks have become emblematic of modern society, standing as a metaphor for poverty in society. Essentially, the ‘governmentality’ around food has shifted from the state to the charity sector. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: This research puts a social cost on the difference between an emergency food parcel as provided by a food bank and a consensually acceptable basket of healthy food. Using shopping basket methodology to investigate the affordability of food, commonly-requested items from food banks’ food lists were identified. The normal price of the cheapest option for each food item was recorded. Findings: Comparing the consensual budget standard for a lone pensioner’s food basket (£57.05) to a food bank’s lowest-priced, one-week food list (£17.66) concludes that a nutritious diet is three times more expensive than the emergency food parcels distributed by food banks. Similarly, comparing the average UK household’s food expenditure (£56.80) to the cost of a food bank diet (£17.66) illustrates well the shortfall in the standard of living between the two dietary experiences. Conclusion & Significance: Citizens should have the right to food and the means to access a consensually acceptable basket of food.
Original languageEnglish
Pages36
Number of pages1
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Apr 2018
Event4th World Congress on Health Economics, Health Policy and Health care Management - Switzerland , Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 13 Sep 201814 Sep 2018

Conference

Conference4th World Congress on Health Economics, Health Policy and Health care Management
CountrySwitzerland
CityZurich,
Period13/09/1814/09/18

Keywords

  • Foof Poverty
  • Social Cost
  • Emergency food parcel
  • Consensually acceptable basket of food

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    Furey, S., & Caraher, M. (Accepted/In press). The Differential Cost of an Emergency Food Parcel and a Consensually Acceptable Basket of Healthy Food. 36. Abstract from 4th World Congress on Health Economics, Health Policy and Health care Management , Zurich, Switzerland. https://doi.org/10.4172/2167-1079-C3-024, https://doi.org/10.4172/2167-1079-C6-031