Adapted from a presentation I did a couple of years ago – Food Banks visualised in a series of maps. Disclaimer: this is one of the first GIS projects I ever did so I do apologise for my poor choice of colours and formatting. I do still think the data is interesting which is why I chose to share it here.
Food Banks provide short-term emergency support during a crisis
They aim to relieve the immediate pressure of the crisis by providing food, while also offering solutions to help identify and resolve the underlying causes of the crisis.
- Thousands of people go hungry within the UK every day due to the inability to afford food
- Instigated by local church groups, Food Banks were set up within communities to provide donated food to the less fortunate via groups of volunteers.
- The Trussell Trust aspires to have a minimum of 1 Food Bank within every local community
Where can you find a Food Bank?
- Prevalence of food banks in the UK. Local authority data from Trussell Trust
The prevalence of food banks has vastly increased in the past 10 years.
There are around 1000 food banks in the UK. 424 operate under the Trussell trust which can be seen on the map below.
- UK Foodbanks 2017. Data geocoded from addresses
The Referral System
Food Banks distribute three-day emergency food parcels to people in crisis who are referred by frontline care professionals or local organisations such as:
- job centres,
- social workers,
- health visitors
- school liaison officers.
- children’s centres,
- housing associations,
- welfare agencies
The number of vouchers given out also vastly increased:
160,000: The highest number of vouchers was given out in the North West in 2015
3.38%: the percentage of people in the North East who received a 3-day voucher 2015
- % of the population who received a 3-day emergency food voucher 2012 – 2016
These statistics are even more sobering when looking at the number of under 18’s receiving vouchers:
61,750: The highest number of vouchers given out to under 18’s was in the North West in 2015
7.12%: the percentage of children in the North East who received a 3-day voucher in 2015
- Locations of food banks in Sheffield
- The first food bank opened in 2013
- Mainly in the North-East of the city
- 15 organisations operating over 20 sites
- All are Christian organisations
We read several reports which highlighted the key reasons people use Food Banks in the UK. A study by the University of Hull called ‘Mapping Hunger’ highlighted the main reasons people use food banks:
- Benefit delays
- Long-term illness
- High level of deprivation
- Low skill jobs
I decided to apply these key reasons to the case study of Sheffield to see if they are true. The different geodemographics I will analyse are:
- Long-Term Sick
- Rates of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance
The Multiple Index of Deprivation takes into account 7 factors:
- Sheffield is ranked the 60th most deprived local authority in England out of 326.
- 23% of Sheffield’s LSOAs are in the 10% most deprived nationally
- Performs worst in Education 41st of 326
- Performs best in Living Environment 135th of 326
- Food banks and deprivation in Sheffield.
As food bank users are most likely to be using public transport a 2km buffer is used to highlight the travel distance. Most deprived areas are included in this area, though it highlights an area in the North that is not served by a local food bank.
- % of working age long-term sick and location of foodbanks
- Job Centres (orange) and Food Banks. Line encloses areas that are within 2km of both
- Enter a Job Seekers Allowance by ward. The darkest in the centre is the Burngreave Ward