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Research: Food for thought

‘Food for Thought’ is a new research report (September 2014) produced by YMCA England on behalf of the Federation, calling for urgent action to be taken to address the problems with the welfare system that are driving more young people each year to depend on foodbanks.

The report is based on research conducted by YMCA England which shows the vast majority of YMCAs now have to refer the young people they work with to foodbanks.  The key driver behind this reported increase was identified as failings in the welfare system.

The purpose of this research was to understand and offer ‘food for thought’ on why young people are living in food poverty and being forced to access foodbanks in order to avoid going hungry.

There is mounting evidence to suggest that the number of people struggling to afford food in England is increasing year on year.

Anecdotally through research conducted over the past year, it has been recognised that young people are not been immune to this trend, with YMCAs increasingly having to refer those they work with to foodbanks for support. Furthermore, an increasing number of YMCAs have begun operating local foodbanks themselves.

However without a set of national statistics on the numbers accessing foodbanks and why this is taking place, it is difficult to secure a full understanding of the situation being faced by many individuals and families across the country.

This research seeks to explain the reasons why young people are being forced to access foodbanks and offer recommendations on how this could be addressed.

To read the full  Food for thought report please visit YMCA England’s website