Foodbanks as paradoxes of policy and society

Lawson, L. and Kearns, A. (2020) Foodbanks as paradoxes of policy and society. Voluntary Sector Review, (doi: 10.1332/204080520X15926573026085) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

In this article we explore the informal relationship between foodbanks and the state during the period of welfare reform, using evidence from a qualitative study of foodbank users in Glasgow, UK. We examine how changes in the welfare state are reflected in what foodbanks do, how they operate, and the expectations and experiences of foodbank users. Our research framework contains three paradoxes: people are knowingly failed by recent welfare reforms and subsequently referred by state and third sector agencies to charitable foodbanks; the voluntary sector cannot adequately support vulnerable people who have needs that are more than food-related, due to state cutbacks; and community food initiatives play a role in helping people in severe financial hardship, but are fundamentally different from and not a replacement for foodbanks. We show that in the case of foodbanks, the voluntary sector–state relationship is more profound and consequential for foodbanks and citizens than any formal arrangements would suggest.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:GoWell is a collaborative partnership between the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, the University of Glasgow, and the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit. GoWell is sponsored by the Wheatley Group, the Scottish Government, NHS Health Scotland, and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
Keywords:Austerity, poverty, voluntary-sector, welfare-reform.
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kearns, Professor Ade and Lawson, Ms Louise
Authors: Lawson, L., and Kearns, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Voluntary Sector Review
Publisher:Policy Press
ISSN:2040-8056
ISSN (Online):2040-8064
Published Online:08 July 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Policy Press
First Published:First published in Voluntary Sector Review 2020
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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