Special Issue "Policy Levers and Actions to Address Food Insecurity in Developing and Developed Countries"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sue Booth
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Interests: food insecurity; charitable food systems; public health nutrition policy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Christina Pollard
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Interests: public health; food insecurity; nutrition; policy; interventions; inequality
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Jeromey Temple
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Interests: economic demography; population and individual ageing; food insecurity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on “Policy Levers and Actions to Address Food Insecurity in Developing and Developed Countries” in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/journal/ijerph.  

The new Special Issue seeks to identify and explore actions such as policy and other interventions to address food insecurity in developing and developed countries. Clearly scoping the problem and causes of food insecurity assists in determining appropriate action. Many approaches have been taken in a variety of countries to respond to the problem. This Special Issue seeks contributions that explore how we should target our efforts for maximum impact?

It addresses questions such as:

  • How do we best define the problem of food insecurity in developing and developed nations?
  • What have we learned from actions taken to date?
  • What works and what does not?
  • What actions or policy levers show promise?

The United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Food insecurity is relevant across all goals, with ‘Zero Hunger’ Goal #2 focusing explicitly on food by seeking to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. ‘No Poverty’ (#1), (#2) and ‘Good Health and Wellbeing’ (#3) are particularly relevant, yet many nations couple their efforts with ‘Responsible Production and Consumption’ (#12)

Food insecurity action can be extensive, ranging from social and economic policies to reduce diet inequities, to actions promoting healthy local food environments, increasing food access and availability, innovative community led interventions, or voluntary/commercial sector responses to help individuals find pathways out of food insecurity.

We invite academics and researchers conducting research that sheds light on policy levers and actions to address food insecurity in developing and developed countries to submit abstracts for consideration in the Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Dr. Sue Booth
Dr. Christina Pollard
Dr. Jeromey Temple
Guest Editors

BREAKING: This Special Issue provides researchers with the opportunity to publish about the exogenous shock posed by the COVID-19 pandemic for the determinants of household food security. Disrupted global food supply chains, isolation and lockdown measures (e.g., border closures), increased unemployment, and broader economic impacts resulting from the pandemic have caused changes in food access, affordability, and availability in developing and developed countries.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Food security/food insecurity
  • Social protection and sustainable development
  • Policy
  • Advocacy
  • Interventions
  • Determinants
  • Charitable food
  • Food banks
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Food systems

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Using the Food Stress Index for Emergency Food Assistance: An Australian Case Series Analysis during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Natural Disasters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6960; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18136960 - 29 Jun 2021
Viewed by 702
Abstract
Food insecurity increases with human and natural disasters. Two tools were developed to assist effective food relief in Western Australia: the Food Stress Index (similar to rental stress, predicts the likelihood of household food insecurity by geographic location) and a basic and nutritious [...] Read more.
Food insecurity increases with human and natural disasters. Two tools were developed to assist effective food relief in Western Australia: the Food Stress Index (similar to rental stress, predicts the likelihood of household food insecurity by geographic location) and a basic and nutritious Food Basket Recommendation (that quantifies the types and amounts of food to meet dietary recommendations for different family types). This study aims to understand and compare the processes and impact of using these tools for organisations and their clients involved in emergency food assistance and/or disaster preparedness. A multiple case-study design analysed organisation’s use of the tools to assist the response to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and the catastrophic bushfires in Australia. Qualitative interviews were conducted by telephone and Zoom (a cloud-based video conferencing service) in July–August 2020. A purposeful sample of eight interviewees representing seven cases (government, food relief and community organisations involved in emergency food assistance and/or disaster preparedness). Three themes emerged from the analysis, (1) organisations are confident users of the tools; (2) Collaborations were “Ready to Go” and (3) Food Stress Index is a “game changer”. Findings demonstrate the intrinsic value of the tools in the provision of emergency food relief under both normal circumstances and in times of increased need, i.e., COVID-19 pandemic. The study highlights the value and importance of ongoing intersectoral collaborations for food relief and food security (e.g., the Western Australian Food Relief Framework) and suggests that upscaling of the Food Stress Index and food baskets will increase the effectiveness of measures to address food insecurity in Australia. Full article
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Article
How Do Disadvantaged Children Perceive, Understand and Experience Household Food Insecurity?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4039; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18084039 - 12 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1045
Abstract
Food insecurity is associated with reduced physical, social, and psychological functioning in children. There has been sparse research into child food insecurity that incorporates children’s own perspectives, as adults are often interviewed as child proxies. While a nuanced, child-centred understanding of food insecurity [...] Read more.
Food insecurity is associated with reduced physical, social, and psychological functioning in children. There has been sparse research into child food insecurity that incorporates children’s own perspectives, as adults are often interviewed as child proxies. While a nuanced, child-centred understanding of food insecurity is needed to inform effective policy and program responses, little is known about Australian children’s firsthand understanding or experience of household food insecurity. This study aimed to fill this gap by inviting preadolescent children’s perspectives. Eleven participants aged 10–13 years (seven girls and four boys) took part in the study and were recruited from an Australian charity school holiday camp that targets severely disadvantaged youth. Children took part in individual semi-structured interviews that incorporated drawings and emoji scales. Qualitative interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analysed using thematic techniques. Four themes emerged from the data analysis, children had: (i) financial understanding; (ii) awareness of food insecurity and coping mechanisms; (iii) sharing, empathy, and compassion for food insecure families; and (iv) described the nature of ‘food’ preparation. This study provides a child-centric analysis, demonstrating how children’s agency is enacted and constrained in food insecure contexts. This child-derived understanding of food insecurity provides a critical basis from which to build effective approaches to assess and respond to this significant social issue. Full article
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Article
The Prevalence and Socio-Demographic Correlates of Food Insecurity in Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6221; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17176221 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1137
Abstract
While food insecurity (FI) has been extensively studied in many countries, there have been few empirical contributions in Poland to date. The main objective of our research was to identify the socio-demographic factors affecting the risk of FI in Poland within 2014–2019. Moreover, [...] Read more.
While food insecurity (FI) has been extensively studied in many countries, there have been few empirical contributions in Poland to date. The main objective of our research was to identify the socio-demographic factors affecting the risk of FI in Poland within 2014–2019. Moreover, we aimed to examine the effects of the family-oriented social program “Family 500+” by comparing the situation in various types of households with children a few years before and after the program was launched. The analysis was based on the set of eight-item FI indicators adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization using the Gallup World Poll nationally representative survey data. Based on our results the most vulnerable groups in the context of FI were identified. We confirmed the importance of education, gender, age, marital status, household composition, status of employment and income in preventing FI. The effectiveness of the support program in reducing FI was demonstrated as households with at least three children experienced significant improvement in the FI status during the studied years. These findings should be especially important in the context of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on FI. As FI can affect the quality and quantity of food choices it is associated with a poorer health status, which increases the risk of infection, including COVID-19, and worsens recovery prognosis. Planning an efficient response to the pandemic requires a comprehension of the increased risk of exposure experienced by people, especially those who are food insecure. Full article
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