Dr E Pimentel de Çetin

Director, The Thread Policy Research Centre

11 September 2020

Black people, racism and human rights: Understanding food poverty


By August 2020, and where ethnicity is known, data released by the National Health Service reveal Black Asian and other Minority Ethnic groups (BAME) represent15% of overall deaths in England from coronavirus, and, per capita, made up a third of all critically ill patients.[1] Accounting for age, gender and geographic profile, the mortality index, relative to the White British population, is more striking than the data suggest, with excess fatalities reaching three times over. [2] The mortality rate of  those of Black ethnicity was approximately 6%.[3] The cause is inconclusive. An independent review found no genetic pre-disposition to the virus.[4] Accounting for the incidences of comorbidities amongst BAME groups, it can be inferred inequalities in health are exacerbated by the material and psychological instances of exclusion based on race. In other words, disproportionate deaths by Covid-19 are not explained uniquely by biomedical factors. They embody well-worn issues of political economy: over-representation in lower income groups; and occupational exposure as essential workers, with all the attendant markers of socio-economic fragilities such as low-wages, and lack of job security. BAME groups are largely employed in the public administration, services and health sectors, and comprise 44% of NHS workers in London. These factors contextualise the higher incidences of observed co-morbidities, and the subsequent vulnerability to coronavirus.


This paper focuses on food insecurity as one aspect of the susceptibility to adverse health outcomes, with particular reference to the racialized structures of disadvantage and exclusion which affect Black communities.

  1. Food Justice


The fundamentals of the food justice movement are guided by human rights, economic inclusion and security. Food justice is about collective engagement and community development, and as such, aims for awareness and for civic representation. The concept of food security politicises these elements as the metric of utility that challenges the habitualness of hunger, and demands sufficiency and sustainability in the provision ofand accessibility toquality food to allow for optimal health, productivity and dignity.[5]


At the country level, the metric which measures food security centres on how governments tackle food poverty, malnourishment, obesity and stunting in line with key Sustainable Development Goals. The United Kingdom’s performance on food security has been cause for concern, despite otherwise demonstrating relatively stable indicators for availability, safety and variability of food. Amongst economically developed countries, the U.K. is the 8th worst performing, out of 41 economically developed nations, in terms of addressing food insecurity,[6] and 17th (out of 26 European countries) on overall performance.[7] In countries where there is a food surplus, and stable supply chains, it is clear that enabling equitable access[8] to fresh produce and nutrient-dense food is not an issue of production and supply, but of political will.


  1. Food Poverty and Food Insecurity


Low wages, irregular income and financial precarity, including unemployment and debt, combined with weaknesses in the state welfare system are drivers of food insecurity.[9] Given the coronavirus-related morbidity and mortality rates amongst BAME groups, it is difficult to ascertain the extent to which diet, and/or food deprivation, adversely contribute to a sufferer’s predisposition to the virus. There is limited evidence on the food choices – and the extent to which these are choices – of BAME populations. The handful of available studies tend to be localised, often presenting contradictory evidence, without accompanying analysis; and do not offer sufficiently broad-based intersectional accounts of hunger in BAME communities to meaningfully affect policy.


In its varying totality, the number of adults experiencing food deprivation quadrupled during the national lockdown, with the vulnerability to food insecurity significantly heightened by loss of income. [10] The challenges of self-isolation and accessing food, and/or a lack of availability of food in shops accounted for 40% of the experience, as the pandemic represents a new dimension of food insecurity. For the most part, the factors that perpetuate food poverty are consistent with the monitoring data  collected by charities. By nature of their exclusion, the following groups are experiencing severe food deprivation: those at the bottom of the income distribution and the newly unemployed; those not labouring in the formal job market such as carers; single parents; people with disabilities or limited mobility; the elderly; children eligible for school meals; and households from BAME backgrounds. [11]


Independent food banks saw demand rise by over 300% in the lockdown period to May 2020, compared to the same period last year.[12] While supply chain issues have been temporarily addressed, the economic hardship in the wake of high unemployment[13] and  persistently low wages;[14] the mushrooming Government fiscal deficit; and fractious political divergence on welfare programming[15]will be aggravated by other layers of precarity, [16] as the winter months bring another set of challenges in terms of additional household bills (heating and hot water), seasonal health concerns (flu, norovirus) and a rise in homelessness.


Pre-pandemic, in the U.K., one in three households living in poverty experience at least one symptom of food deprivation, defined as eating a hot meal every second day, or going a fortnight without a substantial meal due to lack of money. One in five households regularly run out of food, or do not eat on a regular basis, or sufficiently. One in three households with children has to ration food.[17] There is no standardised measure for this phenomenon, and the shame and stigma associated with hunger dissuades many from speaking of the lived experience of food insecurity.


Take the following example: At the national level, and of British-born people referred to food  banks, data from the Trussell Trust, a charity that supports food aid efforts across the U.K., reveal only 4% of referrals came from Black communities compared with 93% of those who identified as White British. In London, however, more than a third of food bank vouchers were issued to those of Black ethnic heritage. [18] There is a dearth of research into food aid and the lived experience of hunger in BAME communities, which renders the issue, if not invisible for specific groups, then nearly impossible to gauge in scope and scale to deploy meaningful interventions for all those affected.[19]

This follows the general pattern on the Government’s minimal engagement[20] with the issue of food poverty.[21] Until 2019, the approach of the Department for Work and Pensions was simply to deny the problem of food insecurity as a significant aspect of poverty, wryly noting food banks do not form part of state welfare programming,[22] even as the yearly rate of death by malnutrition had been steadily rising by 92% in 2018, compared to 2001 [23]. In this country 8.5 million people go hungry.[24]

This deniability suggests an ideological objection to maintaining and monitoring data on food  security rather than a practical one, given charities regularly monitor the  socio-economic impact of Government policy on the most disadvantaged populations, in order to develop timely, community-based strategies to tackle food insecurity. The short-lived Food Charities Grant[25] provided emergency funding to enable charities to remain operational during lockdown when donations dwindled and demand skyrocketed, but its use was limited to food only, overlooking staffing, administrative or storage costs.

Additionally, there is no sustainable framework for assuring consistency, quality and sustainability of providing food aid. Approximately 10 million tonnes  of food is wasted every year, 20% of which results from the food industry. [26] Overproduction, poor manufacturing standards, ordering or stocking expose the lack of coordination in eradicating hunger in one of the wealthiest industrialised nations in the world, with one of the most severe cases of deprivation in Europe, especially for children.


  1. An Era of Contradictions


One of the surprising aspects of life in an economically advanced country is the prevalence of entrenched poverty, malnutrition and destitution. Despite robust economic indicators, social recovery is still lagging, due in no small part to the fiscal consolidation measures which began in 2010, that oversaw widespread retrenchment in social care. [27] Despite economic prosperity[28], one fifth of its population – 14.5 million people – live in poverty.[29] Four million of these experience destitution, and are unable to afford basic essentials.[30]

The relationship between food insecurity and income is complex. The distribution of income in the U.K. is wide and varied enough that 20% of the population lives in poverty. The right to food[31]  is not recognised in domestic law. The year 2020  marks the end of the first decade, since record-keeping began, in which absolute poverty in the U.K. has risen. By the end of 2019, the number of homeless households were on the rise.[32]   Unemployment rose to 6.2%, from 3.9% in the three-month period to May 2020. There are more than 7 million furloughed workers[33]. More than 2.4 million applications for Universal Credit[34] were filed between March and May 2020. [35]

After the 2008 financial crisis, and before the pandemic, the economy was beginning to stabilise.[36] Gross Domestic Product per capita at year-end 2019 rose by 6.5% to US$42,580, making the U.K the fifth largest economy in the world in terms of GDP[37] at the start of 2020. However,  as the rate of economic growth had significantly slowed since mid-2019, the monthly growth in weekly average earnings[38] rose faster than inflation.[39] Yet, one person in six in the U.K. is in relative low income before housing costs (BHC), rising to more than one in five, after accounting for housing costs (AHC).[40]


The unemployment rate, in March 2020, was the lowest in 40 years, with 3.3 million more people in work than in 2010. [41] Yet, in-work poverty, is a major and growing problem in this country, outpacing rates in the growth of employment in 2019.[42]  Nearly 80% of the jobs created between 2010 and February 2020  were full-time, and hence out of reach of carers[43]. Government-funded provisions for nursery and child-minding places[44], social and elderly care have been subject fiscal retrenchment. [45] While overall labour market participation outperformed expectations, with more parents in work in 2018/2019 year-on-year, the opportunity costs of working in flexible employment have been reduced pay[46]  and  financial security, particularly for women, for disabled and other vulnerable persons, and for Black and other ethnic minorities.


Median household disposable income averaged £29,600 (FYE2019), stalling, since 2017, at a rate of growth of 0.4%. [47] Across all income bands, [48]median income is lower than before the 2008 financial crisis, but intra-household income inequality remains lower than levels reached prior to 2008 [49].  It is unclear how this assessment is made given the value of some working-age benefits, including Child Benefit, which represents more than half the income of the poorest fifth of households, [50]  remain at 2016 cash values;[51] and the cost of living – rent, food, fuel, transport and utilities –  has increased threefold in the period to December 2019, year-on-year. [52]


Household income by ethnicity to 2019[53]

Over 20% of Black households have about £5,600 (or 22%) less in median income than White British households, whereas Bangladeshi and Pakistani households have 35% and 34% less, respectively. [54] Yet the growth rate in disposable income for Black households was the slowest,  at 11%, compared to 38% for Bangladeshis, 28% for Pakistanis and 13% for White British households, largely due to compositional changes within households. However, Black female employment rates have risen, in line with Black  Caribbean female employment (always high), both groups exceeding the employment rate of Black Caribbean men.  Two in ten Black African women are employed in health and social care roles.

Within these instances of contradiction, the experience of hunger becomes commonplace. Myopic policy programming struggles to account for the nuanced dynamics between monetary poverty, race and food insecurity, fuelled in no small measure by the structural nature of racism. The Food Foundation estimates the poorest fifth of U.K. households – earning approximately £15,800 or less a year – would have to spend 42% of their disposable income to meet the Government’s dietary guidelines, [55] of 5 portions of fresh produce a day.[56] The poorest fifth of Black households living in poverty earn less than £2,000pcm.[57]


  1. Vulnerabilities and Invisibility

The epistemological and practical measures to address food poverty in the U.K., in any of its manifestations, make non-descript assumptions about the experience of hunger as being singly a consequence of low income. Hunger is particular, being often the outcome of the reification of power and privilege that will not challenge existing inequalities. A host of influences (early childhood diets based on cheap, processed foods, high in sugar and bulking agents), stressors (low wages, no family networks) and pressure points (insecure accommodation with no access to cooking, storing or refrigerating facilities) also keep families in food deprivation.

Two-fifths of those from ethnic minorities live under some measure of poverty. As a whole, BAME families are between two and three times likely to be in persistent poverty than White British households. During national lockdown, the measure of Black families, specifically, living in poverty rose to 46%.[58] Between 2016-2019, families where the head of household is from a  Black/African/Caribbean/Black British background make up 42% (AHC) of people in relative low income, compared with  19% of those with White British background, and were more likely to be in persistent poverty. Nearly 47% of children in poverty lived in homes where the head of household was from a Black ethnic background. [59]

Approximately 15% of workers in sectors which ceased operating during national lockdown are from a BAME background, a larger than average proportion.  Less than 10% of low-paid workers – approximately 6 million earning less than a living wage –in these sectors are able to work from home. A third of households in the bottom 20% of the income distribution have no savings. [60] Black workers form the highest percentage of workers in elementary jobs at 16%, and 18% work in care and other leisure services. By comparison 21% of professional workers are Black, but less than 5% are in managerial or senior executive roles[61].

Last updated 28 August 2020, U.K. Government. Note there is no available data for Black people working in agriculture, forestry and fishing

  1. Addressing the invisibility of being Black and hungry

The impact of any crisis will not be uniform across all ethnic groups. Scant data and research can often make it unavoidable to aggregate all minorities in an effort to gain some sense of the situation, and consequently, to overlook important differences that can guide policy work in the right direction. Grassroots activism and political inclusion are key in according value and visibility to the problem at hand.

The complex histories and spatial geographies of particular demographic groups emerge in the experience and struggle of activism. [62] Community food projects and movements in the U.K.,  such as the Black-led collective Land in Our Names (LION) and the Black Rootz project address racial inequality through food justice by raising issues of land distribution and equality in farming. Through social enterprise initiatives, they work to generate employment in their communities at the same time they build sustainable and affordable chains of fresh produce delivery.  In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, these collectives have been actively campaigning for a public inquiry into the disproportionate deaths of Black people from Covid-19.

Land reform around access, equity and redistribution have long been the cornerstone of socio-political and economic development. The food justice movement is a relative newcomer to a radical reconceptualising of  the material and discursive practices that circumscribe Black communities. The immediate demand for awareness of how these practices are hurtful, not just on a physiological level, but to mental health, well-being and cognitive development, positions food justice activism as a key dynamic in challenging systemic racial asymmetries, which in the pandemic, have entrenched income and health disparities with dire and fatal consequences.





[1] The report ‘confirms that the impact of COVID-19 has replicated existing health inequalities and, in some cases, has increased them’.  Black and Asian patients had between 10 and 50% higher risk of death when compared to White British, but the figure does not account for occupation, comorbidities or obesity.

Public Health England (2020). Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19. August 2020


[Accessed 9 September 2020].

[2] Based on 23,351 deaths recorded in NHS England hospitals, with 40% of BAME deaths recorded in London, the highest concentration of BAME communities.

For further information, refer to: Platt, Lucinda and Warwick, Ross (2020). ‘Are some ethnic groups more vulnerable to Covid-19 than others?’  Institute for Fiscal Studies and Nuffield Foundation, May 2020.


[Accessed 26 June 2020].

[3] Office of National Statistics (2020) Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by ethnic group, England and Wales: 2 March 2020 to 10 April 2020


[4] Public Health England (2020). ‘Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19. June.


[Accessed 10 June 2020]

‘It confirms that the impact of COVID-19 has replicated existing health inequalities and, in some cases, has increased them.’

Office of National Statistics (2020). ‘Coronavirus-related deaths by ethnic group, England and Wales methodology’. 7 May 2020


[5] Food security, food poverty and food justice pivot around some common themes are: access to; availability and affordability of nutritional, fresh and safe food to enable people to live healthy, productive lives.

[6] Brazier, Chris. (2017). ‘Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries’, Innoceti Report Card 14


[Accessed 10 August 2020].

[7] Global Food Security Index, 2019


[Accessed 10 September 2020].

[8]Sen, Amartya. Hunger in the Contemporary World


[9] Barker, M., Russell, J. (2020). ‘Feeding the food insecure in Britain: learning from the 2020 COVID-19 crisis’. Food Sec. 12, 865–870


[Accessed 10 August 2020].

[10] The experience of hunger affected groups previously not  at risk of food insecurity, with those reporting an income loss of 25% already made vulnerable.

Loopstra, Rachel (2020). Vulnerability to food insecurity since the COVID-19 lockdown: Preliminary Report, April.

https://foodfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Hunger-release- FINAL.pdf

[Accessed 10 August 2020].

Based on The Food Foundation’s survey into food security which found that in the first three weeks of lockdown, more than 3 million people reported going hungry.

[11] Frances-Devine, Brigid (2020). Poverty in the UK: statistics, House of Commons Library,18  June 2020.

[12] IBID Staton and Evans (2020)

[13] March 2020: the estimated employment rate for all people was at a record high of 76.6%; this is 0.6 percentage points up on the year and 0.2 percentage points up on the quarter. By April 2020 the unemployment rate rose by 856,000 to 2.1 million.

Office for  National Statistics, (2020). Employment in the UK: May 2020.


[Accessed 22 May 2020]

[14] Despite better than expected pre-pandemic employment figures (March 2020), the U.K. has an entrenched  demographic of 6 million low-paid workers.

[15] Human Rights Watch (2019).  ‘Nothing left in the cupboards: Austerity, Welfare Cuts, and the Right to Food in the UK’


[Accessed 19 May 2020].

This article refers specifically to how the Government manages food poverty, as is the focus here.

[16] Francis-Devine, Brigid; McGuinness, Feargal; Booth,Lorna (2019). Poverty in the UK: statistics (House of Commons: London). September.

[17] Furey, Sinéad. (2018)  Measuring the existence and extent of food poverty. Abstract from Irish Academy of Management Conference 2019, Dublin, Ireland.

In the absence of an established indicator of food security, in 2018 Ulster University Business School (UUBS) researchers investigated the reliability and comprehensiveness of three food poverty indicators: EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions; Food Insecurity Experience Scale; and Household Food Security Survey Module. The purpose of the investigation was to contribute to evidence-based policy making for use in  Government-endorsed Health Survey or Family Resources Survey for possible interventions aimed at eradicating food poverty and to support national efforts in tackling food insecurity. 

[18] Sosenko, Filip. (2019). State of Hunger: A study of poverty and food insecurity in the UK, The Trussell Trust, November 2019.


[Accessed 19 August 2020].

[19] Prayogo, Edwina et al (2018).. Who uses foodbanks and why? Exploring the impact of financial strain and adverse life events on food insecurity. Journal of Public Health 40:4, pp. 676–683.

[20] In July 2016, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) censured the U.K. Government for a lack of systematic data on child food insecurity. The same year, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) rebuked the U.K. for not prioritising a national strategy to address the increasing reliance on food aid.

IBID, Human Rights Watch (2019).

[21] In 2018, the National Institute of Health Research commissioned a literature review into the extent and consequences of child food insecurity. However, it is riddled with problems, not least of which is agreeing on the definition of food insecurity.

Aceves-Martins, Magaly.,  et al. (2018) ‘Child food insecurity in the UK: a rapid review’. Public Health Research Volume: 6, Issue: 13, November.

[22] Kit Malthouse, Parliamentary Undersecretary at the DWP (in May 2018)  told Parliament that “the Department has not carried out any research into trends in the number of people using food banks.”

Malthouse,  Kit, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions. 'Food Banks: Written question - 139374', Hansard, May 29, 2018,


[23] Office for National Statistics (2018) ‘Deaths where malnutrition was the underlying cause of death or was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, persons, England and Wales, 2001 to 2017’, September.


[Accessed 20 April 2020].

[24] Caraher, Martin;  Furey, Sinéad. (2018)  The Economics of Emergency Food Aid Provision

A Financial, Social and Cultural Perspective, (Palgrave Pivot: London)

[25] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-apply-for-the-food-charities-grant-fund

[Accessed 10 August 2020].

[26] The Felix Project (2020). FOOD WASTE FACTS


[Accessed 20 April 2020].

[27] Hastings, Annette; Bailey,Nick; Bramley, et al.(2015). ‘The Cost of the Cuts: The Impact on Local Government and Poorer Communities’, Joseph Rowntree Foundation.


[Accessed 22 May 2020]

[28] September 2019 Budget Speech, Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/spending-round-2019-sajid-javids-speech [Accessed 22 October 2019].

[29] Relative low-income (year on year comparison). Calculated after housing costs (AHC)

Francis-Devine, Brigid (2020). Poverty in the UK: statistics: Briefing Paper 7096 (House of Commons Library). April

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn07096/ [Accessed 12 May 2020].

[30] On material deprivation see Francis-Devine, Brigid (2020).

For a wider understanding of poverty and social exclusion see:

Dermott, Esther and Main Gill, eds. (2018). ‘Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK: The nature and extent of the problem’, Vol. 1.  (Bristol University Press: Bristol).

Bramley, Glen and Bailey, Nick, eds.  (2018). ‘Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK: The dimensions of disadvantage’, Vol. 2. (Bristol University Press: Bristol).


[31]The right to food is a cornerstone to a number of international treaties to which the U.K. is signatory: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women; and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is also set out in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) 1996 Rome Declaration.

[32] Households in Temporary Accommodation (England). House of Commons Library, 19 May 2020.


[Accessed 10 September 2020].

[33] Office for National Statistics (2020). Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 4 May 2020


[Accessed 19 May 2020].

Office for National Statistics (2020). Labour market overview, UK: August 2020


[Accessed 10 September 2020].

[34] Introduced in the Welfare Reform Act 2012: Universal Credit consolidates into one simplified benefit six existing means- tested benefits: Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income- related Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. Some features, such as work-based conditionality encourage recipients into work, and aim to reduce the overall burden of welfare benefits  on the State.

[35] Department for Work and Pensions (2020). Official Statistics: Universal Credit Statistics: 29 April 2013 to 9 July 2020, 11 August 2020.


[Accessed 10 September 2020].

[36] Office for National Statistics (2020). Research Output: Economic activity, faster indicators, UK: January 2020


[Accessed 20 May2020]

[37] Listed in US$ as per Financial Times, Country Economy: United Kingdom https://countryeconomy.com/gdp/uk, as better indication of relative GDP in light of the currency fluctuations of 2018-2019. U.K. population as at November 2019 stood at 64.6 million.

[38] The National Living Wage was set to increase by 6.2% in 2020, roughly averaging to an annual pay rise of up to £930 for a full time worker, to affect nearly 2.8 million people.

See: Government’s official announcement, 31 December 2019.


[Accessed 28 April 2020].

[39] Office for National Statistics (2020). Average weekly earnings in Great Britain: May 2020


[Accessed 20 May2020]

[40] Frances-Devine, Brigid (2020). Poverty in the UK: statistics, House of Commons Library,18  June 2020.

[41] United Kingdom employment statistics mirror those experienced in recent years in many OECD countries

[42] This paragraph was submitted as evidence to the Education Committee.

Pimentel de Çetin, E.M. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services: Hunger and learning


[Accessed 1 July 2020].

[43] In the three months to February 2020 , out of the 172,000 new jobs, 107,000 were full-time.

[44] When housing costs are accounted for (AHC), an extra 300,000 children are pushed into poverty.(IBID, CPAG, 2019)

[45]Office for National Statistics (2019). Public sector finances, UK: November 2019: How the relationship between UK public sector monthly income and expenditure leads to changes in deficit and debt. (November).

Office for National Statistics (2019)  Dataset Public sector finances time series. December.

[46] Pascale Bourquin, Agnes Norris Keiller and Tom Waters (2019). The distributional impact of personal tax and benefit reforms, 2010 to 2019, Institute for Fiscal Studies

[47] Office for National Statistics (2019)Average household income, UK: financial year ending 2019.

This report also shows the gap in median income between the richest quintile and the bottom has been decreasing since 2017. The median income for the bottom quintile has decreased, year-on-year since 2017 by 4.3%.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/bulletins/householddisposableincomeandinequality/financialyearending2019 [Accessed 20 April 2020]

[48] The gap between the highest income bracket and the rest of population has narrowed over recent years; the income share of the richest 1% fell from an average of 8.8% between FYE 2007 and FYE 2009 to 7.6% between FYE 2017 and FYE 2019.

Office for National Statistics (2019). Household income inequality, UK: financial year ending 2019


[Accessed 20 April 2020]

[49] Office for National Statistics (2019) Income and wealth


[Accessed 20 April 2020]

[50] Universal credit and impact on black and minority ethnic communities


[51] In February 2019,  following the visit to the U.K. by the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on Poverty, the Work and Pensions Secretary acknowledged –  after a stream of Government denials to this report, and to other evidence-based data that revealed mechanisms of  welfare programming were invariably linked to food poverty – that problems accessing welfare payments had led to an increase in food bank usage.

[52] Economist Intelligence Unit (2019). Worldwide Cost of Living 2020 Survey

The statistics might change significantly once the cost of the coronavirus pandemic is realised. With the uncertainty of Great Britain leaving the EU it is also hard to gauge what the rise in cost of living would be but typically prices rise in line with inflation, 2-3%. A rise in wages as a result of a more generous personal tax allowance and a rise in the living wage could offset the rise in consumer prices. Certainly food, fuel, rail and transport, the cost of childcare and utilities had risen by the end of 2019.

[53] U.K. Government, Ethnicity facts and figures: Household Income, FYE 2019

[54] Corlett, Adam (2017). Diverse outcomes: Living standards by ethnicity, Resolution Foundation


[55] Based on the Government’s EatWell Guide


[Accessed 10 May 2020].

[56] Scott,  Courtney;  Sutherland, Jennifer; Taylor, Anna  (2018). Affordability of the UK’s Eatwell Guide.  September 2018.


[Accessed 18 May 2020].

[57] U,K. Government (2019). Ethnicity Facts and Figures, June.


[Accessed 10 September 2020].

[58]Out of 900,000 people, compared to just under one in five (19%, 10.7 million people) of those living in families where the head of household identifies as White British.

Social Metrics Commission (2020). Measuring Poverty. July 2020.


[Accessed 9 September 2020].

[59] Those of Bangladeshi (53% AHC) and Pakistani (46% AHC) backgrounds are groups that experienced the highest poverty rate, 2016-2017; 2018-2019.

IBID Frances-Devine 2020.

[60] Francis-Devine, Brigid; Powell, Andrew; Foley, Niamh (2020). 26 August 2020.  Coronavirus: Impact on the labour market


[Accessed 9 September 2020].

[61]U. K Government, (2020) Employment by Occupation


[Accessed 9 September 2020].

[62] Moya Kneafsey, Luke Owen, Elizabeth Bos, Kevin Broughton & Margi Lennartsson (2017) ‘Capacity building for food justice in England: the contribution of charity-led community food initiatives, Local Environment’, 22:5, 621-634.