Something that is often overlooked when talking about how poverty leads to hunger, is the role transport plays in all of this. If you have a car and can afford to travel a few miles, you can access food that is better value for money. You can bring home those big bags of veg, the cheap tins of soup, the multi-buys and the other clever things that will help you stay on top of your food budget.
Buses are rare to nonexistent in many places, unreliable and they cost money. If you can use a bus, you are still limited with your shopping in terms of what you can carry in your hands and on your back. It makes it much harder to stock up or to take advantage of better prices on bigger packs.
If you walk or cycle to shop, then where you can go depends entirely on how far you can walk or cycle while carrying a load of shopping. Do you have decent waterproof gear? How good are your shoes? Do you even have time for a five mile round trip to the supermarket? Add in small children, or disability, or having to do multiple jobs and the pressure mounts considerably. This may mean you’re stuck with whatever is within a few minutes walk of your home, and the odds are that will be as limited as it is expensive.
Being in poverty can be a lot more expensive than being affluent. The impact on your food choices, and the cost of your food if you can’t afford transport, can be huge. Being clever with your budget only becomes possible when you have access to enough resources.
What are the Druid issues here? Justice is the most obvious one, as I try to push back against the ways in which we blame people living in poverty for being poor. There’s also an issue of the connectedness of things – how we structure towns and cities, the assumptions about car use in where the resources are, and the implications of inadequate public transport. I think it’s important to flag up the way people who have to walk are often ignored and forgotten.