Food Poverty and Inequality
The COVID-19 pandemic is a national health crisis, but the wider health impact must not be underestimated – it has intensified problems with food inequality and malnutrition throughout the world.
We know that low income families have struggled with the benefit system and making healthy choices if they’re forced to accept food parcels. We know that the loneliness and isolation faced by millions of older people means they have lost confidence in cooking, shopping for food and that many eat less because they don’t want to eat alone.
For a first world country, it is considered surprising that food poverty even exists in the UK. But our researchers know that it’s a prevailing problem, and one which has been intensified over the last 18 months.
Our research in this area brings together a team with expertise spanning nursing, primary care, epidemiology, social work, mental health and nutrition. This means we understand the complexities of the relationship between food, health, and wellbeing for families, older people, those with health conditions, and the impact of a crisis like COVID-19 on the most vulnerable members of our society. We are committed to providing actionable insights for health services to make positive changes to the way we care for and support people, and to working with partners with a joint ambition to drive positive change.
How we're Powering Progress
Herts alumna Ramatu Nguru (BSc (Hons) Nutrition, 2016) talks about the impact of food insecurity in the school holidays and the importance of school meals.
View from our partners: Scottish charity Food Train on the impact of the pandemic on older people’s nutritional status and health
We interviewed Chief Executive of Food Train, Michelle Carruthers MBE, and Tilly Robinson-Miles, Impact and Policy Office from the charity’s Eat Well Age Well Project, to explore the impact of the pandemic on older people’s access to food and their health.
New research into supporting families eligible for free school meals in the East of England during the pandemic
A study in the East of England has found that many families with school-aged children reported difficulties in accessing food during the pandemic.
Professor Wendy Wills, shares her insights about how the UK can tackle food inequalities and reduce food insecurity as the nation recovers from the impact of the pandemic.
Professor Wendy Wills, led the publication of an open letter, calling for urgent action to prevent malnutrition amongst older people.
How Herts researchers are tackling food insecurity and providing insights and advice for policymakers.
A look at food inequality across the UK today.
Real stories from people who suffered food insecurity during the pandemic.