Sociology
  1. European Social Survey
  2. City Q-Step Centre
  3. Culture & the Creative Industries
  4. Food Policy
  5. Jeremy Tunstall Global Media Research Centre
  6. The Centre for City Criminology
  7. Work, Class & Gender
Sociology

Georgia Machell

PhD work

The Healthy Start scheme; food welfare and the relationship between policy design and practice.

Education

  • October 2011- present: PhD Candidate, Centre for Food Policy, School of Health Sciences, City University, London
    Supervisors: Martin Caraher, Helen Crawley
  • Masters of Science, Food Policy, Centre for Food Policy, School of Health Sciences, City University, London
    Awarded The Worshipful Company of Cooks Dissertation Prize
    Supervisors: Martin Caraher, Tim Lang
  • Bachelor of Arts, American Studies (hons), University of Manchester

The Study

The UK has had some form of Food Welfare Scheme since 1940. In 2006, the government scheme 'Healthy Start' replaced the former Food Welfare Scheme (FWS). Healthy Start provides vouchers to eligible beneficiaries that can be exchanged for fruits, vegetables, milk, infant milk formula and pre and postnatal supplements. A key goal of the scheme is to reduce health inequalities by ensuring low income parents can provide nutritious foods to their family at important times in their children's development. Low fruit and vegetable consumption is a recognized symptom of low income environments across Britain, however it is seldom a single issue such as 'cost' that prevents many low income individuals from consuming the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables.

The primary research objectives of this PhD are to consider how Healthy Start as a policy relates to Healthy Start in practice and to consider what influenced the original policy framework for Healthy Start.

The following two research questions will guide the line of enquiry:

  1. What were the influences on the original policy framework for Healthy
  2. What are the barriers and enablers for a national food welfare scheme to be delivered on a local level?

Why it matters to Food Policy

This research will meet a knowledge and policy gap; on the one hand it will answer pressing practical questions about Healthy Start which will subsequently be used to interrogate the scheme as a food welfare policy option. The research will also shed light on the practicalities and realities of a national food policy being delivered through local mechanisms.

In light of the current economic climate and new political focus on the early years, there is a clear need to extend knowledge in this area to form a foundation on which the development Healthy Start can be fairly informed and linked with other food policy and inequality agendas.

Publications

Book chapters

  • Machell, G and Caraher M (2012) "The role of municipal markets in urban food strategies" in Sustainable food planning; evolving practice and theory. Wageningen. Wageningen Academic Publishers
  • Machell, G and Caraher M (2012) "Towards a definition of food co-ops" in Sustainable food planning; evolving practice and theory. Wageningen. Wageningen Academic Publishers

Reports

Conference Presentations

  • Smith J, Machell G, Caraher M (2012) 'What makes this food co-op a co-operative? We just are' Presentation at the Co-operative Research Conference - An Alternative for the 21st century?, July 2012, Manchester and Rochdale.
  • Linking open air markets with public health: A case study from the UK - presented at: Contesting the Streets: Street Vendors and Open-Air Markets Conference at the University of California Los Angeles, May 2010
  • Towards a definition of food co-ops - presented at the AESOP conference on food and planning, University of Brighton, October 2010
  • The role of municipal markets in urban food strategies - presented at the AESOP conference on food and planning, University of Brighton, October 2010.

Research Interests

Government food welfare schemes in the UK and USA, Early Years nutrition policy, food access and food poverty, urban Food Strategies, sustainable diets.