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Food Banks and Emergency Food Provision

Special issue call for papers from British Food Journal

Guest Editors

Professor Martin Caraher
Centre for Food Policy
City University London
[email protected] 

Assistant Professor Alessio Cavicchi
Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism
University of Macerata, Italy
[email protected] 

Food aid and providing for the most disadvantaged in society has been a feature of communities since societies came together. In the great depression of the 1920/30s food banks became a means of delivering food to the many who were destitute and without work. Post-WWII saw the emergence of nation states where social solidarity and rights were embedded in welfare and there was a move away from food charity or philanthropy and the concept of the undeserving poor. During this time food banks reverted to an emergency role filling in gaps and faults in state provision, often distributing to those who fell outside the formal welfare system such as the homeless and illegal immigrants. 

However, since the 2007 global economic crisis we have seen the re-emergence of food banks as a way of providing aid in society, no longer merely filling gaps but becoming the main providers of food for an increasing number in society, which is related to:

• The state’s withdrawal from food welfare to save costs;
• The need for emergency and rapid response.
Other relevant issues include  the realization of the amount of waste in the food system with food banks and food pantries being seen as acceptable ways of redistributing this food as well as the development of the  “food bank plus” model. 

Call for papers
The guest editors of this Special Issue are seeking contributions from across the spectrum of food aid, food insecurity and emergency food responses research. Quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method studies are welcomed as well as conceptual or policy-based discussions. We are interested in empirical research articles, case studies, and technical, viewpoint and review articles, covering (but not limited to) the following topics.
• What are food banks? What are the core components of a food bank? Are there cultural differences within and between countries? How do structures and models of provision differ between countries?
• Tensions and collaborations between food banks and intergovernmental organizations.

• What is the evidence that food banks either:
o address food insecurity; or
o increase dependence and widen inequality and food insecurity?

• Examples of faith-based and non-denominational food welfare provision.

• Who are the users of food banks? Are there new groups of users and what are their attitudes to food banks?

• What are the views/opinions of food bank users?

• What do we know about the attitudes and views of those running food banks, including volunteers?

• What is the evidence for the impact of food banks on the health and diet of users?

• Lessons for the developed world from the developing world role, e.g. peasant and landless movements’ role in tackling food insecurity.

• What does the “food bank plus’’ model look like? Are there other emerging examples of food aid which offer new and innovative solutions
as alternatives to simply providing those in need with food?

• How do food banks relate to orthodox models of food retailing, including economic and food safety/hygiene concerns?

• How can the collaboration of agro-food firms and retailers with food banks (through sponsorship, donations, etc.) affect the firms’ image, reputation and CSR? Is this collaboration perceived as a source of competitive advantage?

Submission instructions
• Manuscripts should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words and formatted according to the journal author guidelines.
• Submissions must be received by 1st February 2014 via the online submission system Scholar One Manuscripts:
• Authors should indicate that the manuscript is for this special issue by selecting this from the dropdown list on Scholar One Manuscripts.
For further information
Please see the journal homepage: or contact the guest editors.