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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2086; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102086

‘Sustainable’ Rather Than ‘Subsistence’ Food Assistance Solutions to Food Insecurity: South Australian Recipients’ Perspectives on Traditional and Social Enterprise Models

1
College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide 5000, Australia
2
Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth 6102, Australia
3
College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide 5000, Australia
4
College of Business, Government and Law, Flinders University, Adelaide 5000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addressing Food and Nutrition Security in Developed Countries)
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Abstract

South Australian (SA) food charity recipients’ perspectives were sought on existing services and ideas for improvement of food assistance models to address food insecurity. Seven focus groups were conducted between October and November 2017 with 54 adults. Thematically analysed data revealed five themes: (1) Emotional cost and consequences of seeking food relief; (2) Dissatisfaction with inaccessible services and inappropriate food; (3) Returning the favour—a desire for reciprocity; (4) Desiring help beyond food; and, (5) “It’s a social thing”, the desire for social interaction and connection. Findings revealed that some aspects of the SA food assistance services were disempowering for recipients. Recipients desired more empowering forms of food assistance that humanise their experience and shift the locus of control and place power back into their hands. Some traditional models, such as provision of supermarket vouchers, empower individuals by fostering autonomy and enabling food choice in socially acceptable ways. Improvement in the quality of existing food assistance models, should focus on recipient informed models which re-dress existing power relations. Services which are more strongly aligned with typical features of social enterprise models were generally favoured over traditional models. Services which are recipient-centred, strive to empower recipients and provide opportunities for active involvement, social connection and broader support were preferred. View Full-Text
Keywords: food assistance; food insecurity; food charity; food service; social enterprise models food assistance; food insecurity; food charity; food service; social enterprise models
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Booth, S.; Pollard, C.; Coveney, J.; Goodwin-Smith, I. ‘Sustainable’ Rather Than ‘Subsistence’ Food Assistance Solutions to Food Insecurity: South Australian Recipients’ Perspectives on Traditional and Social Enterprise Models. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2086.

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