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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1249;

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

Faculty of Health Science, School of Public Health, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth 6845, Australia
School of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Perth 6009, Australia
Centre for Food Policy, City University of London, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK
Hunger Free America, 50 Broad Street, Suite 1103, New York 10004, NY, USA
College of Medicine & Public Health, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5000, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 April 2018 / Revised: 29 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addressing Food and Nutrition Security in Developed Countries)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: food insecurity; charitable food services; food charity; food system; nutrition; voluntary failure food insecurity; charitable food services; food charity; food system; nutrition; voluntary failure

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Pollard, C.M.; Mackintosh, B.; Campbell, C.; Kerr, D.; Begley, A.; Jancey, J.; Caraher, M.; Berg, J.; Booth, S. Charitable Food Systems’ Capacity to Address Food Insecurity: An Australian Capital City Audit. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1249.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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