Collaborative Community and Research-led Food Poverty Alleviation

Hidden hunger is a growing issue in developed economies. According to UK food policy charity Sustain, an estimated 8.4 million people in the UK struggle to get enough to eat, a situation that will likely worsen due to the effects of the current global pandemic. With growing hunger, malnutrition, and climate uncertainty across the globe, research and community action are becoming increasingly important factors to relieving food poverty in developed economies.

Part of the UK Food Poverty Webinar series, an output of the GODAN Working Group on Food Poverty; this Webinar focuses on a community-based research and community action collaboration between the University of York, food aid organisations, public health and social care professionals, and volunteers. Drawing on the example of collaborative work between the University of York and the York Food Justice Alliance, our panellists describe how the collaboration worked in practice; including the initial development, the process of co-developing and co-conducting research, as well as the challenges that were experienced as part of the collaboration. We also discuss key learning points from the collaboration that may be useful for researchers and voluntary sector organizations intending to pursue community-based co-developed research.

Joining Maddy Power, Research Fellow from the University of York, are experts by experience and co-Chairs of the York Food Justice Alliance, Sydnie Corley and Mary Passeri, giving their perspective on the collaboration.

A large focus of the GODAN mandate is working towards ZeroHunger on a global scale. Though the food security challenges that countries and regions face are many and varied, it remains a universal truth that the same research, data collection and analysis methods would have the effect of alleviating both short and long term effects of food poverty wherever they are applied. GODAN seeks to provide a knowledge exchange platform through its Working Group on Food Poverty [find out more and apply to join here] to bring together experts and organisations to help solve this universal issue.


About the Panelists

Dr Maddy Power is a Research Fellow in the Department of Health Sciences, University of York. Her research focuses on inequalities in access to food, the lived experience of poverty and food insecurity, and emergency food systems. She currently holds a Wellcome Trust fellowship in Humanities and Social Science and is Co-Investigator on the Nuffield Foundation funded Covid Realities. She is Co-Chair of trustees of the Independent Food Aid Network and founder of the York Food Justice Alliance. Prior to entering academia, Maddy worked in the third sector, including The Equality Trust, the Resolution Foundation and, the campaigning organisation, 38 Degrees. 

Dr Power will be joined by experts by experience and co-Chairs and representatives of the York Food Justice Alliance, Sydnie Corley and Mary Passeri. The Alliance is a community-based organisation that aims to relieve food poverty at a local level; in and around the city of York in the UK.

Moderated by: Kathryn Bailey, Head of Communications, GODAN



  • York Food Justice Alliance:
  • Power, M, Pybus, K, Doherty, B & Pickett, K 2021, '“The reality is that on Universal Credit I cannot provide the recommended amount of fresh fruit and vegetables per day for my children”: Moving from a behavioural to a systemic understanding of food practices', Emerald Open Research, vol. 3, no. 3, 14062.
  • Pybus, K, Power, M & Pickett, K 2021, '‘We are constantly overdrawn, despite not spending money on anything other than bills and food’: A mixed-methods, participatory study of food and insecurity in the context of income inequality', Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 21-45.
  • Power, M. (2019), Seeking justice: how to understand and end food poverty in York. York Food Justice Alliance, York.
  • Food insecurity and food aid in York, Power, M. (Creator), University of York, 21 Jan 2020, 10.15124/1c916cfe-1cbc-46e4-a2ed-3064094725ac