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Child-led solutions to food insecurity

Children came up with various solutions to issues around food insecurity in the home and in the community. Many children talked about solutions from within family units, which focused heavily on using limited resources wisely and efficiently, but also included discussion around the security and adequacy of incomes:

“They’ll have to budget.”

“They should spend it on food and cheap, cheap clothes from a charity shop.”

“They could get some help from gran.”

“What my Mum does is that she buys all the stuff a few days before, she has to remember what we’ll have for dinner, so she’ll buy all the stuff and has it in the fridge and just makes it.”

“They can both get a new job, a job that they’re really good at, a job that they graduated in.”

Most children talked about solutions from the community or specific professionals who could provide money, food, or support:

“They might just go to their next door neighbours and ask them for some money.”

“Maybe they could eat at a friend’s house.

“Maybe the teacher, maybe at lunch time give them some extra food to take home.”

“Maybe they can just give them some money so that they can buy some extra food.”

“They can phone the lawyer, if they have a lawyer.”

“They can wait for Santa?”

Children were very perceptive about the role of food banks, including that they may be too far away or oversubscribed:

“If they went there then they could have more food. They could go there every single day for breakfast, and then they could use their money on other things.”

“They might have to go somewhere with more food banks so they can get more food. Like more food than they usually get when there’s only one food bank.”

One child shared an experience of volunteering at a food bank through their school and expecting the food to be unhealthy:

“I got to pack some food for him, there were tins of dog food and there was healthy food. And it depends on how big the family is. I gave him chewing gum, that is the best thing, and I gave him cereal, milk, water, pasta, already cooked in a container, I gave him so many things. You had to get this ticket first. I thought it was just going to be not good food.”