Hunger Pains: Life Inside Foodbank Britain

Hunger Pains: Life Inside Foodbank Britain Journal of Public Health | p. 1 Book Review as the UK follows the US model towards a residual welfare state, increasing conditionality into the realms of behaviour Kayleigh Garthwaite. Bristol: Policy Press. £14.99 and attitudes in addition to circumstances is a means of wel- paperback, ISBN 978-1-44743-2911-4, 195 pp, 2016. fare rationing. It is justified on the basis of the ubiquitously publicized threat that the undeserving might obtain resources that are meant for the deserving poor. Foodbanks were not part of the British poverty landscape Access to Garthwaite’s foodbank is via frontline welfare when I worked with young homeless people in Manchester officials who confirm the authenticity of their claimant- 30 years ago. Today, neoliberalism has driven a tank through turned-supplicant’s food emergency with a time-limited vou- the welfare state. Poverty has become increasingly expensive, cher. Garthwaite has a clear and engaging authorial presence, as wages and benefits have stagnated and basic living costs and constraints on ‘choices’ made by and on behalf of the have risen. Emergency food aid is now an increasingly poor, particularly about the food items and brands to which accepted part of the social policy fabric, although a suspicion they should have access is an interesting theme in the book. remains that ‘real’ hunger, that trusted marker of authentic Garthwaite’s foodbank is awash with baked beans, and the poverty, is still something that mostly happens abroad. massive intrusion of the state and charities into the choices Kayleigh Garthwaite’s Hunger Pains: Life Inside Foodbank of the poor serves as a disciplinary contrast to the luxury Britain (winner of the British Academy’s 2017 Peter lifestyle choices available to the affluent consumer in the Townsend Prize) provides an important account of the freed market. Britain now has a competitive residual welfare everyday life of a contemporary foodbank in austerity system where frontline staff are called on more and more to Britain. Garthwaite’s data are derived from interviews and judge the strength of an applicant’s case for support not participant observation as a volunteer at a foodbank in based on some clear standard of need or right of entitle- Stockton-on-Tees, an area with one of the highest levels of ment, but in relation to the perceived needs and potential inequality in life expectancy in the UK. Her book gives us an needs of others and with an eye to saving finite resources. insight into the rise of Britain’s foodbanks as a laudable char- itable enterprise, and also a source of shame for a nation that is recklessly undermining its systems of social security. Hunger Mary Madden Pains shows us that much current food poverty and food- Associate Professor, Mental Health and Addictions Research bank use is related to long-term income insecurity, benefit Group, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, delays or the punitive benefit sanctions which have increased UK as stricter conditionality has been imposed on claimants. Conditionality links welfare rights to ‘responsible’ behaviour; doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdy023 © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com 1 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/jpubhealth/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/pubmed/fdy023/4833518 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 08 June 2018 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Public Health Oxford University Press

Hunger Pains: Life Inside Foodbank Britain

Journal of Public Health , Volume Advance Article – Feb 1, 2018
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Oxford University Press
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© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
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1741-3842
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1741-3850
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10.1093/pubmed/fdy023
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Abstract

Journal of Public Health | p. 1 Book Review as the UK follows the US model towards a residual welfare state, increasing conditionality into the realms of behaviour Kayleigh Garthwaite. Bristol: Policy Press. £14.99 and attitudes in addition to circumstances is a means of wel- paperback, ISBN 978-1-44743-2911-4, 195 pp, 2016. fare rationing. It is justified on the basis of the ubiquitously publicized threat that the undeserving might obtain resources that are meant for the deserving poor. Foodbanks were not part of the British poverty landscape Access to Garthwaite’s foodbank is via frontline welfare when I worked with young homeless people in Manchester officials who confirm the authenticity of their claimant- 30 years ago. Today, neoliberalism has driven a tank through turned-supplicant’s food emergency with a time-limited vou- the welfare state. Poverty has become increasingly expensive, cher. Garthwaite has a clear and engaging authorial presence, as wages and benefits have stagnated and basic living costs and constraints on ‘choices’ made by and on behalf of the have risen. Emergency food aid is now an increasingly poor, particularly about the food items and brands to which accepted part of the social policy fabric, although a suspicion they should have access is an interesting theme in the book. remains that ‘real’ hunger, that trusted marker of authentic Garthwaite’s foodbank is awash with baked beans, and the poverty, is still something that mostly happens abroad. massive intrusion of the state and charities into the choices Kayleigh Garthwaite’s Hunger Pains: Life Inside Foodbank of the poor serves as a disciplinary contrast to the luxury Britain (winner of the British Academy’s 2017 Peter lifestyle choices available to the affluent consumer in the Townsend Prize) provides an important account of the freed market. Britain now has a competitive residual welfare everyday life of a contemporary foodbank in austerity system where frontline staff are called on more and more to Britain. Garthwaite’s data are derived from interviews and judge the strength of an applicant’s case for support not participant observation as a volunteer at a foodbank in based on some clear standard of need or right of entitle- Stockton-on-Tees, an area with one of the highest levels of ment, but in relation to the perceived needs and potential inequality in life expectancy in the UK. Her book gives us an needs of others and with an eye to saving finite resources. insight into the rise of Britain’s foodbanks as a laudable char- itable enterprise, and also a source of shame for a nation that is recklessly undermining its systems of social security. Hunger Mary Madden Pains shows us that much current food poverty and food- Associate Professor, Mental Health and Addictions Research bank use is related to long-term income insecurity, benefit Group, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, delays or the punitive benefit sanctions which have increased UK as stricter conditionality has been imposed on claimants. Conditionality links welfare rights to ‘responsible’ behaviour; doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdy023 © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com 1 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/jpubhealth/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/pubmed/fdy023/4833518 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 08 June 2018

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Journal of Public HealthOxford University Press

Published: Feb 1, 2018

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