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Sustain / Food Access Network / What is food poverty?

Who is affected by food poverty?

It is estimated that some four million people in the UK are affected by food poverty (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2000).  Food poverty varies between communities and individuals, affects certain groups more than others, particularly older people and people on low incomes and can vary over time.

Food poverty can affect anyone who does not have private transport, who feels they cannot afford the money to buy healthy food, or who does not know how to cook healthy food. What is not clear is why some people suffer from food poverty and some don’t.  Many people living on low incomes, with poor access to transport facilities or a lack of choice for shopping, continue to consume a healthy diet despite the obstacles set in their path, while others struggle.  So, whilst it is true that those on low incomes are more likely to experience food access problems it is not true that as a result they always eat a poor diet.  However, many do and this directly affects their health and life chances.




Food Access Network: The Food Access Network (FAN-UK) was formerly the Food Poverty project, and is now superseded by the Local Action on Food Network. These archive pages give background information on the activities of FAN-UK, which worked to tackle diet-related ill health amongst the UKs most disadvantaged communities.

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