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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Counteracting Stigma-Power: An Ethnographic Case Study of an Independent Community Food Hub

Brennan-Tovey, Kerry, Board, Elisabeth M. and Fulton, John (2023) Counteracting Stigma-Power: An Ethnographic Case Study of an Independent Community Food Hub. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 52 (6). pp. 778-798. ISSN 0891-2416

Item Type: Article


The need for emergency food aid is increasing across the United Kingdom (UK). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 2.5% of UK households accessed food banks. As of June 2022, 15% of households were using food banks, and emerging evidence suggested increased stigma, shame and embarrassment associated with food aid use, food poverty, and food insecurity. This ethnographic study explored food aid user experiences of stigma-power, and antistigma strategies utilized by both food aid users and volunteers, at one North East of England Independent Community Food Hub (ICFH) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings revealed that stigma-power and the negative dominant narrative adversely affected food aid users, who created stigma avoidance techniques to reduce the perceived stigma of food bank usage. Findings also showed ways in which the ICFH implemented numerous antistigma strategies to reduce the stigma, shame, and embarrassment felt by food aid users.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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Depositing User: Delphine Doucet


Item ID: 17866
Identification Number:
ISSN: 0891-2416
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Kerry Brennan-Tovey: ORCID iD
ORCID for Elisabeth M. Board: ORCID iD
ORCID for John Fulton: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2024 13:44
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2024 13:45