2023 Coping paper.pdf (355.53 kB)
The coping continuum and acts reciprocity – a qualitative enquiry about household coping with food insecurity in Victoria, Australia
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-09, 23:32 authored by Fiona McKayFiona McKay, Hayley MckenzieHayley Mckenzie, Rebecca Lindberg
OBJECTIVE: Food insecurity exists when a household has limited or uncertain access to food. This paper explores the strategies employed by households who are already accessing emergency and community food assistance to meet their food needs. METHOD: Interviews to explore strategies used to mitigate food insecurity of people living in Victoria, Australia, between June 2018 and January 2019. Data were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Seventy-eight interviews were conducted. Analysis resulted in two themes highlighting the range of coping strategies employed to mitigate the impacts of food insecurity; broadly described as 1) the coping continuum and 2) coping reciprocity. CONCLUSIONS: Food insecure households employ a range of strategies to secure food. Households that engage with the emergency and community food sector are described as in crisis or struggling, often skipping meals or reducing food consumed, or as coping and managing, characterised by bulking meals and growing food. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Coping with food insecurity exists on a continuum from crisis to management and reciprocity. With the prevalence of food insecurity expected to increase, some of these coping strategies will need to be incorporated into the practice of emergency and community food providers to assist households to meet food needs.