Sustainable Development Goals in the UK follow up: Hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity in the UK Contents


Appendix 1: List of the Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 1. No Poverty - End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

Goal 2. Zero Hunger - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Goal 3. Good Health and Well-being - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Goal 4. Quality Education - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Goal 5. Gender Equality - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Goal 6. Clean Water and Sanitation - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Goal 7. Affordable and Clean Energy - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Goal 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Goal 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

Goal 10. Reduced Inequalities - Reduce income inequality within and among countries.

Goal 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Goal 12. Responsible Consumption and Production - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Goal 13. Climate Action - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy.

Goal 14. Life Below Water - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Goal 15. Life on Land - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Goal 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Goal 17. Partnerships for the Goals - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Appendix 2: Outreach events

Between 26 November and 14 December 2018, the Environmental Audit Committee held four “Go-to democracy” outreach events. We visited:

The events took the format of an introduction to the work of the organisation, and then semi-structured interviews with service users, staff and volunteers. Participants were able to take part in group or individual interview formats. The aim was to hear directly from those affected by hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity, to learn about civil society’s infrastructure for tackling these issues, and to explore possible causes and solutions in the UK context.

Ace of Clubs

Ace of Clubs in Clapham, London, describes itself as a “family-like community providing transformative support for those who are homeless, vulnerable and otherwise marginalized in our area.”220 It provides a range of support services, including food, to individuals who are either referred to them for support, or hear about them through word of mouth. In 2017, provided 20,000 meals, helped 92 people off the streets and into accommodation and 36 people into rehabilitation from addiction.221

One volunteer told us, ““The clients rely a lot on the support, the advice, and the main thing that lots of clients come here for is the food, because that’s the only time they will have a meal for the day.” Ace of Clubs currently provides meals for 80–100 people per day, offering a variety of meals and choice. They rely on donated food, chiefly food from supermarkets that its past its sell-by date, and unsold food from restaurants such as Nando’s and KFC.

Ace of Clubs provides a range of additional support services. These include meeting other immediate requirements, such as showers and clothing, serving as an address from which the homeless service users can apply for jobs. However, they also act as a hub for training and advice with weekly visits from a counsellor, a DWP advisor, a district nurse, mobile dentist and a street vet. One volunteer emphasised that, compared to a food bank, Ace of Clubs “is much more comprehensive … they are providing a potential solution for those individuals.”

Ace of Clubs told us that “the number of people coming to us for help increases year on year due to the recession, benefits changes and a severe increase in homelessness. Government cuts to public services is meaning more people now depend on Ace of Clubs for support.”

City Harvest London

City Harvest, in East Acton, London, collects surplus food from the food industry, including restaurants, grocers, manufacturers, wholesalers, hotels and caterers, and redistributes it to organisations that feed the hungry.222 It operates across 27 London boroughs, providing support to 240 organisations such as homeless shelters, soup kitchens, after school programmes, centres for veterans, and organisations that assist people with drug and alcohol addictions. They distribute more than 30 tonnes of food per week, which would otherwise have gone to landfill. City Harvest London has redistributed 3 million meals since it started in 2014, but an employee told us that they are expecting to redistribute a further 3 million meals in the next year alone.

City Harvest focuses on “the last mile” of food redistribution, working directly with individual stores to rescue food that is near the end of its shelf life. City Harvest told us that this requires flexible working to redistribute food quickly using refrigerated vans. One member of staff emphasised the importance of relationships with people “at the back door” of the food industry, explaining that while supermarket and restaurant headquarters might have a policy for food redistribution or donation, this message is not always known or understood by the people managing waste at the back of the individual stores. Several people we spoke to said that to maximise food rescue it is important to educate key contacts who are responsible for waste management to understand which foods can be redistributed, how they should be packed (for example, not thrown into black bin bags), and how they can benefit local communities This can be challenging given high staff turnover in some parts of the food industry.

Community Shop

Community Shop describes itself as a “social enterprise that is empowering individuals and building stronger communities, by realising the social potential of surplus food.”223 It provides food through a discounted supermarket and daily hot meal, which is free to children. One service user told us that “if it wasn’t for this place I don’t know how we would eat.” Another described bringing friends that they knew were experiencing difficulties to the reduced lunches “so that you know that someone is getting a good meal, and that might be the only meal.” Others pointed out that the social supermarket meant that they could afford a healthier and more varied diet, as “all fruit and veg are 20p” and Community Supermarket provides cooking courses and encourages sharing food and recipes between the diverse range of cultures that use their services.

However, staff and service users that we spoke to emphasised that Community Shop is “more than just food”. Community Shop provides a range of support services to empower and educate service users to tackle the problems which they experience alongside hunger. This includes courses on budgeting and employability, support accessing new jobs, and courses designed to strengthen communities, families, parents and leadership. One staff member described how they were able to cater to the needs that they discovered in the community, for example, providing computer courses when the realised that some service users were experiencing sanctions as they were unable to complete their online benefits forms correctly. One user said that Community Shop’s support “helped build me up.”

The people we spoke to emphasised that anyone could find themselves needing food support. We spoke to people who had accessed Community Shop after redundancy, early retirement, family ill health, limited benefits and low income. Some service users described how delays in administering the move to Universal Credit, benefit sanctions and changes in the distribution of benefits under the new system, had pushed people they knew into arrears with rent and other bills, which they were not able to repay. They told us that this put those people at higher risk of stress and homelessness; and placed greater strain on their food budgets and families. They highlighted that some parents could not afford to give additional support to their adult children, and that some young people were getting targeted by gangs because of the young person’s desire to help support a parent that was struggling financially. The service users that we spoke to expressed concern about those who were unable to access similar support through lack of awareness or lack of provision in their local areas.

The Real Junk Food Project, Wakefield

The Real Junk Food Project works “to intercept food destined for landfill and redistribute it through a network of Pay As You Feel Sharehouses, cafes and school partnerships.”224 We visited its #Kindness Sharehouse in Wakefield. It is primarily an environmental initiative, which is open to all, regardless of what the individual can afford to pay, based on the idea articulated by one service user that “it’s better on people’s tables and in people’s stomachs than it is in landfill.”

Service users and volunteers described a wide range of people who use their Sharehouse and receive their boxes of food. Some people emphasised environmental reasons, such as reducing waste and reallocating edible food. Most service users, however, said that they were also, or primarily, using the facilities to access food that they couldn’t otherwise afford. Service users described being made redundant, being unable to access Universal Credit, and struggling to pay bills. Several said that they did not use food banks because of the “stigma” attached, or because they could not access one. One volunteer also noted being “struck by the number of women who come through who have had expectations of a pension and then not got it when they were expecting it.”

One volunteer told us “people who come here, by and large they are grafters that can’t make ends meet.” One service user told us “it brought down our shopping bill” and “just help[s] out with that week when you’re on a short week, because we all have them with families.” Another described “needing to put food on the table,” and said that “it’s not a case of ‘we can’t have food this week because the heating has got to be on,’ it’s the other way around.” One volunteer said, “this is Britain in the 21st century–it’s a moral outrage that supermarkets are throwing away food, and children don’t have enough to eat.”

Some staff and service users also described the role of education in empowering people to access food. One volunteer said, “it’s meeting those basic needs, but then also doing it in a way whereby we raise awareness about how they can access it themselves, so that they are more independent.” Several volunteers and service users said that they had learned not to rely on best before dates: “it’s all about your sense of touch, smell and taste.” Two also described the challenges of educating people working in the food industry to identify and pass on food for redistribution. One volunteer also noted that people who get help from the #Kindness Sharehouse are then also able to go on and give help elsewhere.

216 Ace of Clubs, What is Ace of Clubs, accessed 6 December 2018

217 City Harvest, City Harvest: Giving food another life, accessed 6 December 2018

218 Company Shop, What is Community Shop?, accessed 6 December 2018

219 The Real Junk Food Project, What do we do?, accessed 6 December 2018

220 Ace of Clubs, What is Ace of Clubs, accessed 19 December 2018

221 Ibid.

222 City Harvest London, City Harvest: Giving food another life, accessed 19 December 2018

223 Community Shop, What is Community Shop?, accessed 2 January 2019

224 The Real Junk Food Project, What do we do?, accessed 2 February 2019

Published: 10 January 2019