Journal of Public Health | Vol. 40, No. 2, p. 446 Book Review state, increasing conditionality into the realms of behaviour and attitudes in addition to circumstances is a means of wel- Kayleigh Garthwaite. Bristol: Policy Press. £14.99 fare rationing. It is justiﬁed on the basis of the ubiquitously paperback, ISBN 978-1-44743-2911-4, 195 pp, 2016. publicized threat that the undeserving might obtain resources that are meant for the deserving poor. Access to Garthwaite’s foodbank is via frontline welfare Foodbanks were not part of the British poverty landscape ofﬁcials who conﬁrm the authenticity of their claimant- when I worked with young homeless people in Manchester turned-supplicant’s food emergency with a time-limited vou- 30 years ago. Today, neoliberalism has driven a tank through cher. Garthwaite has a clear and engaging authorial presence, the welfare state. Poverty has become increasingly expensive, and constraints on ‘choices’ made by and on behalf of the as wages and beneﬁts have stagnated and basic living costs poor, particularly about the food items and brands to which have risen. Emergency food aid is now an increasingly they should have access is an interesting theme in the book. accepted part of the social policy fabric, although a suspicion Garthwaite’s foodbank is awash with baked beans, and the remains that ‘real’ hunger, that trusted marker of authentic massive intrusion of the state and charities into the choices poverty, is still something that mostly happens abroad. of the poor serves as a disciplinary contrast to the luxury Kayleigh Garthwaite’s Hunger Pains: Life Inside Foodbank lifestyle choices available to the afﬂuent consumer in the Britain (winner of the British Academy’s 2017 Peter freed market. Britain now has a competitive residual welfare Townsend Prize) provides an important account of the system where frontline staff are called on more and more to everyday life of a contemporary foodbank in austerity judge the strength of an applicant’s case for support not Britain. Garthwaite’s data are derived from interviews and based on some clear standard of need or right of entitle- participant observation as a volunteer at a foodbank in ment, but in relation to the perceived needs and potential Stockton-on-Tees, an area with one of the highest levels of needs of others and with an eye to saving ﬁnite resources. inequality in life expectancy in the UK. Her book gives us an insight into the rise of Britain’s foodbanks as a laudable char- itable enterprise, and also a source of shame for a nation that Mary Madden is recklessly undermining its systems of social security. Hunger Associate Professor, Mental Health and Addictions Research Pains shows us that much current food poverty and food- Group, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, bank use is related to long-term income insecurity, beneﬁt UK delays or the punitive beneﬁt sanctions which have increased as stricter conditionality has been imposed on claimants. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdy023 Conditionality links welfare rights to ‘responsible’ behaviour; Advance Access Publication February 1, 2018 as the UK follows the US model towards a residual welfare 446 © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/jpubhealth/article-abstract/40/2/446/4833518 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 24 July 2018
Journal of Public Health – Oxford University Press
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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