Food bank practices, local development and the potential of community wealth building and universal basic services in the UK

Richard Philip Lee*, Pamela Louise Graham, Emma Croft, Katie L Hackett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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In the UK, the proliferation of voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) providing emergency food aid has been the subject of critical scrutiny. Analysis has called for further work to understand and act upon the diverse practices taking place within and across food banks. We consider how co-ordinators of food banks in the county of Northumberland have responded to interlocking crises and rising demand, and how they reflect upon their practices. We embed their views and experiences within a critical, contextualised analysis of a core tension: how to provide food in a minimally stigmatising manner, while simultaneously arguing and acting for the end of such activities. We consider the implications of such tensions for approaches to local development, focusing on two key elements of a ‘transformative social innovation’ approach: system innovation and narratives of change. We argue that without significant change in, and challenges to, these ‘shades of change’, enacting (empowering) transformative social innovation in relation to food insecurity will be difficult. In doing so, we consider the potential of community wealth building (CWB) and universal basic services (UBS) to enable innovative change in social and system practices and enhance social infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number026909422311826
Pages (from-to)22-41
Number of pages20
JournalLocal Economy
Issue number1
Early online date11 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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