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Challenging corporate charity: Food commons as a response to food insecurity
Edward Elgar Publishing
Recognising that food insecurity is a structural feature that requires profound food system and public policy transformation, this paper critically examines the increasing volumes of surplus food redistributed via food charities in many rich societies. The role of corporate charitable donations is widely celebrated as a ‘win-win’ that reduces food waste and feeds hungry people. Noting the inability of such interventions to address the structural causes of food insecurity, and its propensity to maintain and support problematic ideologies, practices, and power imbalances the chapter offers an alternative perspective that argues for the need to move beyond food as commodity and appreciate its other vital attributes. Reviewing two alternative models of food redistribution – labelled ‘brokerage’ and ‘challenger’ – the chapter highlights the corporate dominance of the former while the latter offers the prospects to rethink ways out of food poverty traps. Drawing upon the notion of food as a commons, it argues that reformed public welfare provision together with diverse community initiatives grounded in principles of conviviality could offer an alternative route to addressing food insecurity.
Commons , Foodbanks , Charitable surplus , Corporate donations , Community initiatives , Conviviality
Kenny, T. and Sage, C. (2023) 'Challenging corporate charity: Food commons as a response to food insecurity', in Caraher, M., Coveney, J. and Chopra, M. (eds.) Handbook of Food Security and Society. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 48-56. doi: 10.4337/9781800378445.00014
© 2023, the authors. This is a draft chapter. The final version is available in in Caraher, M., Coveney, J. and Chopra, M. (eds.) Handbook of Food Security and Society, published in 2023, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781800378445.00010 The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.