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'A lot of people are struggling privately.

Douglas, Flora; MacKenzie, Fiona; Ejebu, Ourega-Zoé; Whybrow, Stephen; Garcia, Ada L.; McKenzie, Lynda; Ludbrook, Anne; Dowler, Elizabeth


Flora Douglas

Fiona MacKenzie

Ourega-Zoé Ejebu

Stephen Whybrow

Ada L. Garcia

Lynda McKenzie

Anne Ludbrook

Elizabeth Dowler


This qualitative study explored frontline service providers’ perceptions of the nature of food insecurity in Scotland in 2015 to inform national policy and the provision of locally-based support for ‘at risk’ groups. A country-wide in-depth interview study was undertaken with informants from 25 health, social care, and third sector organisations. The study investigated informants’ perspectives associated with how food insecurity was manifesting itself locally, and what was happening at the local level in response to the existence of food insecurity. Data analysis revealed three key themes. First, the multiple faces and factors of food insecurity involving not only increased concern for previously recognised ‘at risk of food insecurity’ groups, but also similar concern held about newly food insecure groups including working families, young people and women. Secondly, respondents witnessed stoicism and struggle, but also resistance amongst some food insecure individuals to external offers of help. The final theme identified community participation yet pessimism associated with addressing current and future needs of food insecure groups. These findings have important implications for the design and delivery of health and social policy in Scotland and other countries facing similar challenges.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 31, 2018
Journal International journal of environmental research and public health
Electronic ISSN 1660-4601
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 12
Article Number 2738
Institution Citation DOUGLAS, F., MACKENZIE, F., EJEBU, O.-Z., WHYBROW, S., GARCIA, A.L., MCKENZIE, L., LUDBROOK, A. and DOWLER, E. 2018. 'A lot of people are struggling privately. They don't know where to go or they're not sure of what to do': frontline service provider perspectives of the nature of household food insecurity in Scotland. International journal of environmental research and public health [online], 15(12), article ID 2738. Available from:
Keywords Household food insecurity; Food poverty; Scotland; Low income; Families; Children; Women; Older people; Qualitative


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