IFAN is committed to developing a strong research base to bring attention to the nature and extent of food poverty and as well as long-term solutions to the crisis.
IFAN undertakes a range of research; facilitates access to food aid providers for those undertaking research on food poverty; offers advice and assistance to researchers; and shares research with its members, other food aid providers, advocacy groups, the media and the wider public.
IFAN's current research projects include mapping the UK's independent food banks and collating independent food parcel distribution data across Scotland with A Menu for Change.
Calls for Research
IFAN has identified a series of issues relating to food insecurity and food aid we think would benefit from further research. If you are interested in developing any such projects please contact IFAN to see how we might be able to support this research (through, for example, advice, or an introduction to member organisations). Please note, IFAN has no funding for research.
- Minority community responses to food insecurity; a study of minority ethnic groups known to be over-represented in deprivation measures, but under-represented in the use of food banks, to examine how these communities cope with/respond to food insecurity.
- Rural food poverty: what are the drivers of food insecurity in rural areas? What are the barriers facing people accessing food aid in rural areas? Are there differences between different rural areas?
- Food poverty in the devolved nations: What are the barriers and opportunities for food poverty organisations and alliances to influence policy change in the devolved administrations.
- Examining the potential for – opportunities and barriers to – adopting A Menu for Change approach to food insecurity in England and Wales.
- Building on research by A Menu for Change (Scotland) to identify early intervention points to reduce the need for emergency food aid; or on the longer term impact and outcomes of food aid.
- Analysis of secondary data sets to examine correlations between food insecurity, food aid/food banking, and nutrition and ill-health.
- A review of the (dis)connect between food banks and other food aid schemes (for example, surplus food or food growing schemes). What links might be usefully be forged, and how, at a local, regional or national level?
- A study of food banks/food aid schemes’ relationships with nutrition/healthy eating programmes.
- A study of the role of corporate donors in UK food banking and other food aid provision.
- Research examining different conceptualisations of a Right to Food (including comparative work across countries) and on the practical changes necessary to bring it about in the UK
- Research examining exit strategies amongst food aid providers – what do different groups mean by this? Examples in practice?
- A review of responses to food insecurity in UK 3rd sector; to map the direction of travel, new alliances, progress, and barriers to implementation
- A review of approaches to campaigning and advocacy work in food aid organisations in North America to develop a practical ‘tool kit’ for fundraising, advocacy and campaigning work by UK food aid organisations.