Food Charity, Shame/ing and the Enactment of Worth

Darlene McNaughton, Georgia Middleton, Kaye Mehta, Sue Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Food insecurity is a significant problem in many countries, including Australia. Consequently, food hubs, through which food is distributed using a supermarket style layout, have become an important new source of charity food provision. However, little is known about users’ experiences. We draw on ethnographic research to understand the everyday experiences of people using South Australian food hubs. We suggest that attempts to produce a more dignified experience by creating a normalizing experience of shopping is not being achieved, because of the shame and stigma surrounding poverty, confusing operational processes, poor food quality, staff attitudes, and the disciplinary capacity of food hubs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalMedical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness
Issue number1
Early online date27 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Australia
  • food charity
  • food insecurity
  • shame
  • stigma
  • worthiness


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