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Charitable Food Systems' Capacity to Address Food Insecurity: An Australian Capital City Audit.

Pollard, C. M., Mackintosh, B., Campbell, C. , Kerr, D., Begley, A., Jancey, J., Caraher, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-0615-839X, Berg, J. & Booth, S. (2018). Charitable Food Systems' Capacity to Address Food Insecurity: An Australian Capital City Audit.. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(6), 1249. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061249


Australian efforts to address food insecurity are delivered by a charitable food system (CFS) which fails to meet demand. The scope and nature of the CFS is unknown. This study audits the organisational capacity of the CFS within the 10.9 square kilometres of inner-city Perth, Western Australia. A desktop analysis of services and 12 face-to-face interviews with representatives from CFS organisations was conducted. All CFS organisations were not-for⁻profit and guided by humanitarian or faith-based values. The CFS comprised three indirect services (IS) sourcing, banking and/or distributing food to 15 direct services (DS) providing food to recipients. DS offered 30 different food services at 34 locations feeding over 5670 people/week via 16 models including mobile and seated meals, food parcels, supermarket vouchers, and food pantries. Volunteer to paid staff ratios were 33:1 (DS) and 19:1 (IS). System-wide, food was mainly donated and most funding was philanthropic. Only three organisations received government funds. No organisation had a nutrition policy. The organisational capacity of the CFS was precarious due to unreliable, insufficient and inappropriate financial, human and food resources and structures. System-wide reforms are needed to ensure adequate and appropriate food relief for Australians experiencing food insecurity.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
Publisher Keywords: food insecurity; charitable food services; food charity; food system; nutrition; voluntary failure
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management > Food Policy
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