This qualitative study explored frontline service providers’ perceptions of the nature of food insecurity in Scotland in 2015 to inform national policy and the provision of locally-based support for ‘at risk’ groups. A country-wide in-depth interview study was undertaken with informants from 25 health, social care, and third sector organisations. The study investigated informants’ perspectives associated with how food insecurity was manifesting itself locally, and what was happening at the local level in response to the existence of food insecurity. Data analysis revealed three key themes. First, the multiple faces and factors of food insecurity involving not only increased concern for previously recognised ‘at risk of food insecurity’ groups, but also similar concern held about newly food insecure groups including working families, young people and women. Secondly, respondents witnessed stoicism and struggle, but also resistance amongst some food insecure individuals to external offers of help. The final theme identified community participation yet pessimism associated with addressing current and future needs of food insecure groups. These findings have important implications for the design and delivery of health and social policy in Scotland and other countries facing similar challenges.
|Number of pages||22|
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Dec 2018|
Bibliographical noteFunding: This research was funded by NHS Health Scotland with additional funding support provided for Flora Douglas’ and Stephen Whybrow’s time from the Scottish Government’s RESAS programme. Core support to HERU from the Chief Scientist Office Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates and the University of Aberdeen is gratefully acknowledged.
Acknowledgments: We would like to acknowledge Bill Gray and Dionne MacKinnon (BG NHS Health Scotland and DMcK, formerly of NHS Health Scotland) for their professional review and support during the project and our study participants for their time and expertise. We are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers of our paper for their time and extremely helpful contributions to this work.
- household food insecurity
- food poverty
- low income
- older people