< Back to News

Researcher Hannah Lambie-Mumford Awarded Top Prize for Early Career Research by Economic and Social Research Council

June 6, 2014

White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Centre researcher Hannah Lambie-Mumford awarded prestigious prize for early career research by Economic and Social Research Council

Emergency Food Provision in the UK: Understanding its rise and implications (University of Sheffield) – Funded through the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre

HannahCongratulations to Hannah Lambie-Mumford who has won a prestigious award for her research.  Hannah was awarded the Outstanding Early Career Impact Prize and £10,000 at the Economic and Social Research Council’s Celebrating Impact Awards during a ceremony at The Royal Society, London, on 5 June 2014.

Hannah is a White Rose DTC PhD student in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield and a previous student representative on the White Rose DTC Academic Quality Committee.

Ground-breaking research by Hannah Lambie-Mumford has provided policy makers, the charitable sector and the media with thought-provoking evidence to inform the food poverty debate.

Hannah’s ESRC-funded investigation into emergency food provision, completed as part of her PhD, was the first rigorous appraisal of the growing national issue.  Her investigation of the rise of the Trussell Foodbank Network and FareShare, two UK charities involved in providing emergency food supplies, is informing policymakers and charities about the demand for, and operations of, emergency food initiatives.

“The research came at a time when policymakers, NGOs and the media were starting to take notice of the rise of these initiatives and thinking about how to react and respond,” Hannah points out. “It has provided them with some of the scarce evidence currently available, and so my work has been drawn on by national and local policymakers as well as the media.”

Crucially, Hannah’s work is also raising wider issues that go beyond the provision of emergency food aid. “Emergency food projects are a response designed to alleviate the symptoms of food poverty, but they do not address the root causes of food poverty,” Hannah points out. “The research is helping to raise issues concerning the underlying causes of food poverty in the UK higher on the policy agenda.”

Working closely with churches and other organisations involved in food assistance projects on the ground, Hannah is also stimulating debate on the practical ways churches can think and act around food poverty. “Volunteers are well aware of the wider issues of food poverty and have unique insight into what’s happening in their communities,” Hannah says. “By engaging with volunteers as well as national organisations, the outcomes of this project are also helping people think ‘beyond food banks’ to other ways of tackling food insecurity in their local communities – such as campaigning on living wages, getting involved in credit unions or lobbying their local authority to prioritise issues of food poverty.”

Hannah said: “I am delighted to have won. The fact that research into hunger and the need for food banks is required in the UK is of course shocking, but whilst we are faced with these stark realities I am glad that my work can provide a platform for policy makers and NGOs as they seek to address these issues in local communities across the country.”

Impact

  • The research findings shaped the terms of reference for the April 2014 All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into hunger and food poverty
  • Hannah co-authored the research report Household food security in the UK: a review of food aid (February 2014), commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Hannah was appointed to the Child Poverty Action Group’s (CPAG) Policy Advisory Committee in February 2014
  • Hannah was appointed a Registered Specialist in food and poverty at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in September 2013
  • Research evidence was given to Public Health Wales, the NHS in Scotland, the London Assembly’s Health and Environment Committee, and Sheffield City Council’s Public Health team
  • Research findings were used in the flagship report Walking the Breadline from Church Action on Poverty (CAP) and Oxfam May 2013
  • Hannah joined the advisory group of Oxfam, CPAG and Church of England for research into food poverty and food banks January 2014.