Food and living standards - Experts discuss the importance and role of food as part of 40 years of social policy research at Loughborough

Food insecurity, food poverty and free school meals are debated in a new video created to mark the 40th anniversary of Loughborough Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP).

The interview features the centre’s Co-Director Professor Matt Padley and Rebecca O’Connell, Professor of Food, Families and Society at the Centre for Research in Public Health and Community Care (CRIPACC) at University of Hertfordshire.

In the second of three filmed interviews featuring different researchers from CRSP, the conversation revolves around people’s choice over the food they eat and the social role of food.

It comes as millions of people face difficult decisions because of the cost-of-living crisis – with food being particularly affected by recent high inflation.

Professor Padley’s work includes the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) which sets out what the public agree is needed for a minimum acceptable standard of living, describing in detail the goods and services required to reach this living standard.

He said: “One of the key things about food is that if your income is suddenly constrained, food is an area where you can cut down spending immediately.

“Unlike energy bills or other kind of areas of spending, for some, food is an area where you can stop spending as much money as you were before and shop in different ways.”

The interview also touches on eligibility for free school meals and the impact of food insecurity on society.

The Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) was established in 1983 by Professor Sir Adrian Webb.

Over the years, CRSP has strived to improve people’s lives through social policy change.

It is the home of the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) and the centre’s other work includes the Cost of a Child, Retirement Living Standards and Poverty at the end of life.

The other two videos in the series feature the centre’s other Co-Director Professor Abby Davis and Research Fellow Dr Juliet Stone.

Professor Davis and Katie Schmuecker, Principal Policy Adviser at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), discuss the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) and its impact on society, both in the UK and around the world.

Dr Stone and Mark Jackson, Senior Policy and Research Manager at Marie Curie, discuss the prevalence and risk of poverty among people with terminal illness in the UK, and how policy interventions could help this vulnerable group.

All three interviews are hosted by Peter Warzynski and are available to watch on YouTube, where you can set reminders for their launch.

CRSP@40 Discussions: Food and Living Standards will be available at midday on July 19 and CRSP@40 Discussions: Dying with Dignity will be released on July 21.


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 23/114

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