“Do you have a Voucher”? Food Banks and COVID-19

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Kelli Kennedy, University of York, UK.

“Do you have a voucher?” is one of the first questions asked to food bank users. I should know; as a volunteer at the Waterloo Oasis Foodbank in London I’ve asked the question countless times over a tea or coffee to someone seeking help. In light of the current COVID pandemic, more people will request vouchers, and unfortunately, many will not receive them.

UK Hunger and Food Insecurity in COVID-19

New research from a YouGov poll by The Food Foundation and the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission (FFCC) revealed that more than 3 million people (6%) in Great Britain have gone hungry since the UK lockdown began in late March. The survey assessed household food (in)security through the following questions:

Thinking about since the UK went into official lockdown (i.e. since March 23rd), did you/anyone else in your household:

  1. Have smaller meals than usual or skip meals because you couldn’t afford or get access to food?
  2. Ever been hungry but not eaten because you couldn’t afford or get access to food?
  3. Not eaten for a whole day because you couldn’t afford or get access to food?

If the answer was yes to any question, the person is deemed food insecure. The most impacted groups include adults with disabilities, adults with children, and those identifying as BAME, according to a preliminary analysis of survey data by Rachel Loopstra of King’s College. With people falling into hunger and food insecurity, many look for help to put food on the table, including the use of food banks. Continue reading ““Do you have a Voucher”? Food Banks and COVID-19”

“Double Disaster”: What can global philanthropy learn from Australia’s consecutive bushfire and COVID-19 crises?

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Alexandra Williamson, Queensland University of Technology & Diana Leat, Independent Consultant and Visitor Professor at Cass Business School

If, as Oscar Wilde remarked, losing one parent may be regarded as a misfortune but losing two looks like carelessness, the same might be said of disasters. For Australian nonprofit organizations and philanthropic foundations scrambling to frame and action responses to the unprecedented damage caused by 2019-20 bushfires in four states, the advent of coronavirus seems worse than unlucky. But does Australia’s double experience of misfortune offer any useful insights?

While it is obviously too early for comprehensive national data on giving by individuals, corporates and philanthropic foundations, there are some key themes and reflections on the similarities, differences and challenges of Australia’s philanthropic response to disaster overload.

Unlike some disasters that happen almost instantaneously or with only a few days’ warning, both the bushfires and COVID-19 built over a period of months. Similarly, neither the bushfires nor COVID-19 could be simply ‘put out’ but had/will have to run their course (given our current state of knowledge on a vaccine). In another temporal dimension, both disasters require responders to think beyond immediate short-term response to longer-term recovery. Both disasters take a greater toll on those who are already disadvantaged, with a disproportionate impact on physical and mental safety, social and financial wellbeing. Lastly, both disasters restrict movement and access of and to people and resources. Nonprofit responders and funders cannot go into the field to observe and understand for themselves under COVID-19 lockdown conditions or bushfire emergency evacuations. Continue reading ““Double Disaster”: What can global philanthropy learn from Australia’s consecutive bushfire and COVID-19 crises?”

Check Out this ‘Editor’s Choice’ Virtual Special Issue from NVSQ!

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Dear friends,

Happy 2020! As we embark on a new year, we—the editorial team of Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly working closely with Sage—are proud to present to you this virtual special issue of Editors’ Choice. These fourteen (14) articles were published in various issues of NVSQ between January 2018 and December 2019. We have selected and curated them into this virtual collection to draw attention and provide ease of access to particularly distinctive, high-quality work in different genres. Some have already been highly-cited over the past two years (for example, the top-cited article on use of social media by nonprofit advocacy organizations by Guo and Saxton); others we expect will be widely read and used to inform new research, but may not yet have high citations because they were published more recently.

Here is a link to the Virtual Special Issue:

https://journals.sagepub.com/topic/collections-nvs/nvs-1-editors_choice/nvs

As a collection, these articles showcase the diversity of topics as well as the conceptual and methodological innovations that characterize NVSQ. The topics cover accountability and governance, revenue diversification, cross-sector partnerships, giving and volunteering, civil engagement, policy advocacy and social entrepreneurship. This collection is also broadly international, as is every issue of the journal. We hope you find this special collection of articles interesting, relevant, and inspiring.

The articles will be open for free download for the next two weeks. Enjoy!

The NVSQ Editorial Team”