29 June 2020

Experts from the University of Sheffield and King’s College London to monitor real time responses to food vulnerability

A new research project funded by the ESRC will map and monitor responses to food vulnerability during the COVID-19 outbreak

Volunteering: food and grocery shopping delivered to doorstep

A new research project funded by the ESRC will map and monitor responses to food vulnerability during the COVID-19 outbreak. The project is led by Dr Hannah Lambie-Mumford, from the Institute for Sustainable Food, SPERI Research Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield and Dr Rachel Loopstra, Lecturer in Nutrition at King’s College London. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments, charities and local communities have been working to ensure access to food for the most vulnerable people in society. New schemes have been developed, such as government food parcels for people asked to shield and referrals for people to receive help with groceries from a volunteer. These have been working alongside existing provision for those unable to afford food – such as food banks – which has also seen a dramatic rise in demand during lockdown. The result is an increasingly complex set of support structures which are changing and developing as the COVID-19 outbreak and its impacts evolve. 

The research involves working with partners and stakeholders including governments, charities and NGOs as well as people with lived experience of these support systems during COVID-19. Starting in July 2020, the project will last 18 months and deploys collaborative, real time monitoring and analysis of food support systems. The information gathered will inform food access policy and practice both during the outbreak and as the socio-economic impacts become clearer.

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