This report from the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute explores how local authorities and non-profits across the UK responded to household food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the period between September 2020 and September 2021. It finds that some existing initiatives were adapted for the pandemic, while other new initiatives emerged.
Four key trends were identified:
- “Cash first” approaches - including cash grants and vouchers - are playing an increasingly important role in local responses to food insecurity.
- A range of actors are driving system-wide responses, including food partnerships, food poverty alliances, and other local networks.
- Third sector responses (i.e. NGOs and non-profits) were important in local responses, but food aid providers are experiencing high levels of fatigue and burnout.
- Projects are considering how to reach wider groups of people, for example by looking at how they communicate and facilitate access to support.