This highlights a significant gap in the literature, especially as we consider the fact that neither was carried out in the UK.The first looks into the experiences of food insecurity among soup kitchen consumers in Australia (Wicks et al 2006) and the second at feelings, characteristics and effects of food insecurity in Quebec (Hamelin et al 2002).
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.
As the gap between income and cost of living grows (Caraher, Lang and Carr-Hill 1998; BHFP 2012b: 3-4; Family Action:3,5; Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam 2013:3; Dowler 19), the relative elasticity of the food budget means it is the first one to be squeezed (Family Action n.d:14; Dowler 19).
Food poverty is further compounded by access problems (Caraher, Lang and Carr-Hill 195; Dowler 19) as described further below.
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).
In addition to these, there is a new group at risk – the working poor who are insecurely employed, low-waged or migrants (Dowler and O’Connor 20-48).
Wages and welfare entitlements are simply not keeping up with the rate of inflation.
The rights-based approach re-politicizes an issue that became de-politicised when charities stepped in to fill the gaps in the welfare system (Riches 19; Dowler and O’Connor 20).
Sociologist have used many different approaches to analyse food poverty, including social geography of food deserts (Caraher and Lang 1998; Caraher, Lang and Carr-Hill 1998) social class analysis (Molcho et al 2006), applied social policy research (Lambie-Mumford 2013a, 2013b), phenomenology (Dibsdall et al 2002) and social psychology (Carter et al 2011).