News / Food Poverty

New report exploring four key responses to food vulnerability during Covid-19

A new report from the Food vulnerability during Covid-19 research project examines four key responses to food insecurity during the pandemic: school food replacements, emergency financial support, emergency food and the shielding grocery box scheme.

The research projects's second report Monitoring responses to the risk of rising food insecurity during the COVID-19 crisis across the UK presents the initial findings on these four major responses:

  • School food: replacements for food ordinarily provided in school, including breakfast and free school lunches, put in place when schools closed during national lockdown.
  • Emergency finance: cash-based responses provided through existing and new state provided schemes in each of the constituent countries. Also, emergency grants provided through third sector organisations.
  • Emergency food: adaptations made by charitable emergency food providers to assist people facing economic barriers to food access.
  • Shielding grocery box scheme: national programmes providing delivery of weekly food boxes to people who were shielding who had no other means of accessing food.

The report presents multiple insights for the ongoing response to food vulnerability during Covid-19, as well as lessons for policy and practice in the longer term. 

This report follows the first report from the project which mapped the range of national programmes and policies intended to enhance access to food for people at economic and physical risk of food insecurity in the UK between March and July 2020.



Published 22 Dec 2020

Food Poverty: Over 8 million people in the UK struggle to get enough to eat. Sustain is working with communities, third-sector organisations, local authorities and government, aiming to make sure everyone can eat well.

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