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Change and innovation in food aid provision in Sussex and Southwest London during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ronald Ranta (Kingston University, London, UK)
Hilda Mary Mulrooney (Department of Applied and Human Sciences, Faculty of Science Engineering and Computing, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, UK)
Dee Bhakta (London Metropolitan University, London, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 17 October 2022

Issue publication date: 16 May 2023




The purpose of this paper is to examine how food aid providers in Sussex and Southwest London responded and managed during the pandemic.


The methodological approach consists of three inter-related layers. A qualitative description research approach based on naturalistic inquiry, supplemented by site visits and personal observations was used.


The pandemic catalysed dramatic, often positive, changes to the provision of food aid, with a move away from the traditional food bank model. It brought about increased coordination and oversight, as well as the upscaling of capabilities, infrastructure and provisions.


The paper contributes to the literature on food aid in the UK It provides evidence for how providers are transforming the sector for the better and potentially helping to deal with the cost-of-living crisis.



Funding: The research has been supported by a small research grant from the Centre for Research into Communities, Identities and Difference (CResCID) and a London Met Research Transformation grant.


Ranta, R., Mulrooney, H.M. and Bhakta, D. (2023), "Change and innovation in food aid provision in Sussex and Southwest London during the COVID-19 pandemic", British Food Journal, Vol. 125 No. 6, pp. 2037-2052.



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