3. Nutrition & Healthy Eating

Food poverty in Northern Ireland

Project Reference:




Commencement Date:

January, 2005

Project Duration:

24 months


There is a growing awareness of food and nutrition as determinants of short and long term public health. The quality and quantity of food intake is a contributory factor in the main causes of morbidity and mortality. Poverty, of which food insecurity is a key component, compromises an individual’s ability to acquire and adequate and nutritious diet. Barriers to dietary improvement are diverse ranging from issues surrounding affordability access and psychosocial factors.

The project aimed to determine the nature and extent of food poverty in Northern Ireland with a view to developing policies and practical initiatives to tackle the issue and increase awareness of the importance of food and nutrition from a low-income perspective. This project aimed to heighten awareness at both strategic and operational level of the issue of food poverty and the implications for public health. This work also assisted in informing other key policy areas which safefood is currently engaged in, such as the development of an all island Food and Nutrition forum and the Working Group on Food and Nutrition Strategy.

Principal Contractor(s):

Mr Gary McFarlane, Northern Ireland Public Health Alliance


Kim Willis, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, London

Jorun Rugkasa, Institute of Public Health in Ireland, Dublin

Dr Harold Harvey, University of Ulster, Jordanstown



Food Poverty: Fact or Fiction?