Advertisement

Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 843–859 | Cite as

“In”-sights about food banks from a critical interpretive synthesis of the academic literature

  • Lynn McIntyreEmail author
  • Danielle Tougas
  • Krista Rondeau
  • Catherine L. Mah
Article

Abstract

The persistence, and international expansion, of food banks as a non-governmental response to households experiencing food insecurity has been decried as an indicator of unacceptable levels of poverty in the countries in which they operate. In 1998, Poppendieck published a book, Sweet charity: emergency food and the end of entitlement, which has endured as an influential critique of food banks. Sweet charity‘s food bank critique is succinctly synthesized as encompassing seven deadly “ins” (1) inaccessibility, (2) inadequacy, (3) inappropriateness, (4) indignity, (5) inefficiency, (6) insufficiency, and (7) instability. The purpose of this paper is to examine if and how the contemporary food bank critique differs from Sweet charity’s “ins” as a strategy for the formulation of synthesizing arguments for policy advocacy. We used critical interpretive synthesis methodology to identify relationships within and/or between existing critiques in the peer-reviewed literature as a means to create “‘synthetic constructs’ (new constructs generated through synthesis)” of circulating critiques. We analyzed 33 articles on food banks published since Sweet charity, with the “ins” as a starting point for coding. We found that the list of original “ins” related primarily to food bank operations has been consolidated over time. We found additional “ins” that extend the food bank critique beyond operations (ineffectiveness, inequality, institutionalization, invalidation of entitlements, invisibility). No synthetic construct emerged linking the critique of operational challenges facing food banks with one that suggests that food banks may be perpetuating inequity, posing a challenge for mutually supportive policy advocacy.

Keywords

Critical Food banks Review Policy Poverty Synthesis 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Funding for this project was provided through the CIHR Operating Grant: Programmatic Grants to Tackle Health and Health Equity, ROH—115208.

References

  1. Adily, A., D. Black, I.D. Graham, and J.E. Ward. 2009. Research engagement and outcomes in public health and health services research in Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 33: 258–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Akobundu, U.O., N.L. Cohen, M.J. Laus, M.J. Schulte, and M.N. Soussloff. 2004. Vitamins A and C, calcium, fruit, and dairy products are limited in food pantries. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 104: 811–813.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. American Dietetic Association. 1990. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Domestic hunger and inadequate access to food. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 90: 1437.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, S.A. 1990. Core indicators of nutritional state for difficult-to-sample populations. Journal of Nutrition 120: 1559–1600.Google Scholar
  5. Berner, M., and K. O’Brien. 2004. The shifting pattern of food security: Food stamp and food bank usage in North Carolina. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 33: 655–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berry, J.M. 1984. Feeding hungry people. Rulemaking in the food stamp program. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Booth, S., and J. Whelan. 2014. Hungry for change: The food banking industry in Australia. British Food Journal 116(9): 1392–1404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Borkan, J.M. 1999. Immersion/crystallization. In Doing qualitative research, ed. B. Crabtree, and W.L. Miller, 179–194. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Bryman, A. 2004. Social research methods, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Butcher, L.M., M.R. Chester, L.M. Aberle, V.J.-A. Bobongie, C. Davies, S.L. Godrich, R.A.K. Milligan, J. Tartaglia, L.M. Thorne, and A. Begley. 2014. Foodbank of Western Australia’s healthy food for all. British Food Journal 116(9): 1490–1505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Campbell, C.C. 1991. Food insecurity: A nutritional outcome or a predictor variable? Journal of Nutrition 121: 405–412.Google Scholar
  12. Campbell, C., S. Katamay, and C. Connolly. 1988. The role of nutrition professionals in the hunger debate. Journal of the Canadian Dietetic Association 49: 230–235.Google Scholar
  13. Canadian Dietetic Association. 1991. The official position paper of the Canadian Dietetic Association on hunger and food security in Canada. Journal of the Canadian Dietetic Association 53: 139.Google Scholar
  14. Crawford, R. 1980. Healthism and the medicalization of everyday life. International Journal of Health Services 10: 365–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Curtis, K.A. 1997. Urban poverty and the social consequences of privatized food assistance. Journal of Urban Affairs 19: 207–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Daponte, B.O., and S. Bade. 2006. How the private food assistance network evolved: interactions between public and private responses to hunger. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 35: 668–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Daponte, B.O., G.H. Lewis, S. Sanders, and L. Taylor. 1998. Food pantry use among low-income households in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Journal of Nutrition Education 30: 50–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. De Schutter, O. 2012. End of mission statement: mission to Canada. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. http://www.srfood.org/images/stories/pdf/officialreports/201205_canadaprelim_en.pdf. Accessed 14 March 2014.
  19. Dixon-Woods, M., D. Cavers, S. Agarwal, E. Annandale, A. Arthur, J. Harvey, R. Hsu, S. Katbamna, R. Olsen, L. Smith, R. Riley, and A. Sutton. 2006. Conducting a critical interpretive synthesis of the literature on access to healthcare by vulnerable groups. BMC Medical Research Methodology 6(35): 1–13.Google Scholar
  20. Eisinger, P. 2002. Organizational capacity and organizational effectiveness among street-level food assistance programs. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 31: 115–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Elliott, H., and J. Popay. 2000. How are policy makers using evidence? Models of research utilisation and local NHS policy making. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 54: 461–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Entwhistle, V., D. Firnigl, M. Ryan, J. Francis, and P. Kinghorn. 2012. Which experiences of health care delivery matter to service users and why? A critical interpretive synthesis and conceptual map. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy 17: 70–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Feeding America. 2014. Hunger in America 2014, national report. August 2014. http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/our-research/hunger-in-america/. Accessed 16 April 2015.
  24. Food and Agriculture Organization. 1996. Rome declaration on world food security. http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/w3613e/w3613e00.htm. Accessed 5 April 2015.
  25. Frederick, J., and C. Goddard. 2008. Sweet and sour charity: experiences of receiving emergency relief in Australia. Australian Social Work 61: 269–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Greger, J.L., A. Maly, N. Jensen, J. Kuhn, K. Monson, and A. Stocks. 2002. Food pantries can provide nutritionally adequate food packets but need help to become effective referral units for public assistance programs. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 102(8): 1126–1128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Handforth, B., M. Hennick, and M.B. Schwartz. 2013. A qualitative study of nutrition-based feeding initiatives at selected food banks in the Feeding America network. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 113: 411–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Husbands, W. 1999. Food banks as antihunger organizations. In For hunger-proof cities: Sustainable urban food systems, ed. M. Koc, and R. MacRae, 103–109. Ontario: IDRC Books.Google Scholar
  29. Irwin, J.D., V.K. Ng, T.J. Rush, C. Nguyen, and M. He. 2007. Can food banks sustain nutrient requirements? A case study in southwestern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Public Health 98: 17–20.Google Scholar
  30. Jacobs Starkey, L., and H.V. Kuhnlein. 2000. Montreal food bank users’ intakes compared with recommendations of Canada’s food guide to healthy eating. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Research and Practice 61: 73–75.Google Scholar
  31. Kennedy, A., J. Sheeshka, and L. Smedmor. 1992. Enhancing food security: a demonstration support program for emergency food center providers. Journal of the Canadian Dietetic Association 53: 284–287.Google Scholar
  32. Kirkpatrick, S.I., and V. Tarasuk. 2009. Food insecurity and participation in community food programs among low-income Toronto families. Canadian Journal of Public Health 100: 135–139.Google Scholar
  33. Lambie-Mumford, H. 2013. “Every town should have one”: Emergency food banking in the UK. Journal of Social Policy 42: 73–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lipsky, M., and M.A. Thibodeau. 1988. Feeding the hungry with surplus commodities. Political Science Quarterly 103: 223–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Loopstra, R., A. Reeves, D. Taylor-Robinson, M. McKee, and D. Stuckler. 2015. Austerity, sanctions, and the rise of food banks in the UK. British Medical Journal 350: h1775. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h1775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lorenz, S. 2012. Socio-ecological consequences of charitable food assistance in the affluent society: the German Tafel. International Journal of Sociology and Social policy 32: 386–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Miles, M.B., and A.M. Huberman. 1994. Qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  38. Nord, M., M.D. Hooper, and H.A. Hopwood. 2008. Household-level income-related food insecurity is less prevalent in Canada than in the United States. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 3(1): 17–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Paynter, S., M. Berner, and E. Anderson. 2011. When even the “dollar value meal” costs too much: food insecurity and long-term dependence on food pantry assistance. Public Administration Quarterly 35: 26–58.Google Scholar
  40. Poppendieck, J. 1998. Sweet charity? Emergency food and the end of entitlement. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  41. Poppendieck, J. 2000. Hunger in the United States: Policy implications. Nutrition 16: 651–653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rambeloson, Z.J., N. Darmon, and E.L. Ferguson. 2008. Linear programming can help identify practical solutions to improve the nutritional quality of food aid. Public Health Nutrition 11: 395–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Riches, G. 1986. Food Banks and the welfare crisis. Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Council on Social Development.Google Scholar
  44. Riches, G. 1996. Hunger in Canada: Abandoning the right to food. In First World hunger: Food security and welfare politics, ed. G. Riches, 46–77. London: Broadview Press.Google Scholar
  45. Riches, G. 1997. Hunger, food security, and welfare policies: Issues and debates in First World societies. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 56: 63–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Riches, G. 2002. Food banks and food security: Welfare reform, human rights, and social policy. Lessons from Canada? Social Policy & Administration 36: 648–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Riches, G. 2011. Thinking and acting outside the charitable food box: Hunger and the right to food in rich societies. Development in Practice 21(4–5): 768–775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rock, M. 2006. “We don’t want to manage poverty”: Community groups politicize food insecurity and charitable food donations. IUHPE: Promotion & Education 13: 36–41.Google Scholar
  49. Starkey, L.J., and K. Lindhorst. 1996. Emergency food bags offer more than food. Journal of Nutrition Education 28: 183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tarasuk, V. 2001. A critical examination of community-based responses to household food insecurity in Canada. Health Education and Behavior 28: 487–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tarasuk, V.S., and G.H. Beaton. 1999. Household food insecurity and hunger among families using food banks. Canadian Journal of Public Health 90: 109–113.Google Scholar
  52. Tarasuk, V., and B. Davis. 1996. Responses to food insecurity in the changing Canadian welfare state. Journal of Nutrition Education 28: 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tarasuk, V., and J.M. Eakin. 2003. Charitable food assistance as symbolic gesture: an ethnographic study of food banks in Ontario. Social Science and Medicine 56: 1505–1515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tarasuk, V., and J.M. Eakin. 2005. Food assistance through “surplus” food: insights from an ethnographic study of food bank work. Agriculture and Human Values 22: 177–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tarasuk, V.S., and H. MacLean. 1990. The institutionalization of food banks in Canada: A public health concern. Canadian Journal of Public Health 81: 331–332.Google Scholar
  56. Tarasuk, V., N. Dachner, A.-M. Hamelin, A. Ostry, P. Williams, E. Bosckei, B. Poland, and K. Raine. 2014a. A survey of food bank operations in five Canadian cities. BMC Public Health 14: 1234. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tarasuk, V., N. Dachner, and R. Loopstra. 2014b. Food banks, welfare, and food insecurity in Canada. British Food Journal 116(9): 1405–1417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Teron, A.C., and V.S. Tarasuk. 1999. Charitable food assistance: What are food bank users receiving? Canadian Journal of Public Health 90: 382–384.Google Scholar
  59. Tetroe, J.M., I.D. Graham, R. Foy, N. Robinson, M.P. Eccles, M. Wensing, P. Durieux, F. Légaré, C.P. Nielson, A. Adily, J.E. Ward, C. Porter, B. Shea, and J.M. Grimshaw. 2008. Health research funding agencies’ support and promotion of knowledge translation: An international study. Milbank Quarterly 86: 125–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Thériault, L., and L. Yadlowski. 2000. Revisiting the food bank issues in Canada. Canadian Social Work Review 17: 205–233.Google Scholar
  61. Tsang, S., A.M. Holt, and E. Azevedo. 2011. An assessment of the barriers to accessing food among food-insecure people in Cobourg, Ontario. Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada 31: 121–128.Google Scholar
  62. van der Horst, H., S. Pascucci, and W. Bol. 2014. The “dark side” of food banks? Exploring emotional responses of food bank receivers in the Netherlands. British Food Journal 116(9): 1506–1520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wakefield, S., J. Fleming, C. Klassen, and A. Skinner. 2013. Sweet charity, revisited: Organizational responses to food insecurity in Hamilton and Toronto, Canada. Critical Social Policy 33: 427–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Warshawsky, D.N. 2010. New power relations served here: The growth of food banking in Chicago. Geoforum 41: 763–775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Webb, K.L. 2013. Introduction—Food banks of the future: Organizations dedicated to improving food security and protecting the health of the people they serve. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 8: 257–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Willows, N.D., and V. Au. 2006. Nutritional quality and price of university food bank hampers. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Research and Practice 67: 104–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynn McIntyre
    • 1
    Email author
  • Danielle Tougas
    • 1
  • Krista Rondeau
    • 1
  • Catherine L. Mah
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences CentreMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. JohnCanada

Personalised recommendations