Cloud based distribution system to tackle food poverty
  Local food sectors, e.g. Foodbanks, still rely on paper-based referral systems whilst continuing to see increasing demand. In addition, the model of direct hand-outs of food parcels and electricity vouchers is unsustainable, lacks dignity for clients struggling with low income and causes access and confidentiality issues for more remote households. There is a need for greater integration of local support services as a first step towards more sustainable solutions.
People suffering from food insecurity are often facing multiple challenges, including low income, skills deficits and fuel, transport and/or digital poverty. Responses to food insecurity must therefore be multi-dimensional and controlled by clients’ needs, supporting access to multiple services and reducing stigma; THAW Orkney already provides a trusted, holistic service for those facing fuel poverty, but often finds work duplicated across the voluntary and third sector system.
A more equitable, dignified support system could bring together referral organisations to provide a holistic cash-first service and simplify access to further, confidential support. This capacity could be built through development of an easy-to-use and maintain, open-source cloud-based data platform supporting timely exchange of cross-island referrals. The work would bring together both digital capacity building and co-design of dignified food systems from the experience of frontline partners; thereby combining digital and social innovation. In addition to the social innovation in this project involves the investigation of how referrals occur between partners using qualitative research and exploring how the system can having a machine learning capability to explore efficiency, such as supervised learning regression modelling and data visualisations output.

  • Start Date:

    14 March 2022

  • End Date:

    15 December 2023

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Scottish Funding Council

  • Value:


Project Team