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Researching U.K. food insecurity and foodbank use using a mixed-methods approach

Author: Elisabeth A Garratt; Kingsley Purdam
Publisher: London : SAGE Publications Ltd, 2018.
Series: SAGE Research Methods., Cases.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English
Summary:
This case study reports on the research design and methods used in a recent project exploring food insecurity and foodbank use in the United Kingdom. The project comprised quantitative analyses of social survey data capturing aspects of food insecurity alongside qualitative interviews with people giving and receiving emergency assistance from foodbanks across one city in England. By taking a mixed-methods approach,  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Elisabeth A Garratt; Kingsley Purdam
ISBN: 9781526437815 1526437813
OCLC Number: 1023838057
Description: 1 online resource.
Series Title: SAGE Research Methods., Cases.
Responsibility: Elisabeth A. Garratt, Kingsley Purdam.

Abstract:

This case study reports on the research design and methods used in a recent project exploring food insecurity and foodbank use in the United Kingdom. The project comprised quantitative analyses of social survey data capturing aspects of food insecurity alongside qualitative interviews with people giving and receiving emergency assistance from foodbanks across one city in England. By taking a mixed-methods approach, we sought to triangulate nationally representative and statistically robust survey data with the in-depth experiences reported by people using foodbanks. This case study discusses the benefits and challenges involved in successfully conducting such mixed-methods research. The highly publicized growth of foodbanks in the United Kingdom has reignited long-standing but often neglected debates about food insecurity and its potential consequences for health, nutrition, and social exclusion. The underlying reasons behind the sharp rise in emergency food provision are disputed, and as data are scarce, these debates are generally not informed by evidence. Moreover, the voices of people receiving emergency food are rarely heard. Quantitative analyses of survey data provided a robust (but limited) basis for understanding the nature and prevalence of food insecurity. In parallel, qualitative research offered us direct insights into the experiences and circumstances of people using foodbanks. In this case study, we describe in detail the methods used in this research project, focusing on the strengths while reflecting upon the challenges and lessons learned when taking a mixed-methods approach to conducting research on under-researched topics, and with vulnerable groups.

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