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03rd June 2021

Food Poverty

A short film about low-income consumers' access to healthy, affordable food in Northern Ireland


The Consumer Council has produced a short film Hand to Mouth: Accessing healthy, affordable food on a low income looking at the reality facing low income families in Northern Ireland, and their ability to afford the type of contents identified in the Minimum Essential Food Basket research carried out by Safefood and Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland.

With so many other pressures on household spend, and the added financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hear from parents, academics and those working in local communities about the struggle of eating well on a limited budget.

Full filmThis short film explores the issues facing low income households in Northern Ireland and their ability to access a healthy, affordable and socially inclusive diet. We hear from leading academics, community volunteers, and from parents themselves about the difficulties of eating well on a limited budget.

Short VersionThe following film highlights some of the issues facing people feeding themselves and their family on a low income.

Minimum Essential Food Basket

What is the cost of a healthy food basket in Northern Ireland in 2020?

Research by Safefood and the Food Standards Agency shows that low-income families in Northern Ireland have to spend up to 46% of their weekly income to afford a healthy food basket. 

For the full report, click here to visit Safefood's website

Useful Links

Healthy Start Vouchers

Free milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins

The Healthy Start Scheme provides vouchers to pregnant women and eligible families. You can use the vouchers to buy milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables in local shops. You can also get coupons for free vitamin supplements through the scheme.

Click here to visit the NI Direct website to check eligibility and claim vouchers

Full Time Meals - Tom Kerridge and Marcus Rashford

This website helps give children and families the skills and confidence to cook good, proper food in their own kitchens, using the equipment available to them. Encouraging them to be creative, have fun and spend valuable time together cooking and eating.

Click here to visit the Full Time Meals website.