We are delighted to announce that Dr Hannah Lambie-Mumford, SPERI Research Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations has been awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Research Fellowship to undertake a new research project entitled “Charity begins in the boardroom? Food corporations and food charity”. The two-year fellowship will begin in September 2020. Congratulations, Hannah!
Food corporations are increasingly important partners for food charities such as food banks, providing funding, in kind donations and access to customers, and the COVID-19 crisis has seen many announcements of corporate support for food charity. However, debates about food corporation-food relationships struggle from a lack of evidence. Hannah’s new project will develop new and much-needed empirical research on the nature and dynamics of these relationships as well as exploring some of the dilemmas they pose.
Hannah’s new funding comes at the same time as the publication of her new book The Rise of Food Charity in Europe, edited jointly with Professor Tiina Silvasti of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The book, published by Policy Press, provides the first systematic Europe-wide study of the roots and consequences of the rise of food charity. Leading researchers from Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the UK provide evidence on the history and driving political and social forces behind the growth of this provision and in particular the influence of changing welfare states.
Work on the research for the book started at a SPERI workshop in 2017 which brought together authors from the seven countries to begin the undertaking of the first comparative study of its kind. The book provides key evidence on the nature of food charity systems, their growth and links to public policy in countries across the continent, providing an important baseline for understanding how these systems respond and adapt to the health, social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 crisis in the times ahead.
The first in a series of research reports based on the findings of the book is also published today. What is food charity in Europe? is now available to download from the ENUF website, a hub for research and evidence on household food insecurity in the UK. Further reports will also be published in the coming weeks on the relationship between food charity and changing welfare states and the role of surplus food redistribution in food charity systems in Europe.