Dr Rounaq Nayak, Lecturer in Sustainability, writes about the DONATION project, which explored the impact of the cost of living crisis on food aid programmes…
The research success I have had is with a project that I started at the beginning of the year, titled ‘Design of a social sustainability and food utilisation matrix for food banks (DONATION)’, using the Charity Impact fund (internal call).
I would term this project a success due to 3 reasons: it gave me the chance to carry out research in a new topic area, it allowed me to network both within the university as well as with key stakeholders outside the University, and apply successfully for seed funding from the British Academy.
Findings from the study were published in a Call for evidence on the UK Parliament website, which is a first for me. Detailed findings will also be published as a peer-reviewed paper in a special issue journal that is widely read by audiences in the sector.
What started out as a small project that was awarded £2500 at the start of the year has led to a larger project with a defined theme (£7900) that is attracting interest from various stakeholders such as BCP, Bristol City and Oxfordshire Councils, key stakeholders associated with food aid programmes in the UK, and charities that work with vulnerable populations.
The findings have also led to the identification of a new group of clients that need access to food banks due to food and fuel poverty – people working full-time jobs and on an annual salary. Based on these findings and the gravity of the situation identified through this project, I am aiming to apply for a UKRI New Investigator Grant in the autumn of 2023.