Food and Fuel Insecurity in Devon, 2023

This research investigates the extent and experience of food and fuel insecurity in households across the county. It is designed to provide up-to-date information on food insecurity levels to compare with findings from a baseline study conducted in March and April 2021, as well as enabling an assessment of the current extent of fuel insecurity in households.

The findings are based on interviews with a representative sample of 1,206 households from across Devon conducted in September and October 2022, and was published in January 2023.

The results show that overall levels of household food insecurity have increased substantially over the last 18 months. 16% of Devon households are now experiencing very low food security compared with 10% in 2021. These households are experiencing substantial disruptions to their eating patterns, such as household members eating less and going hungry. They often reduce food intake because they have insufficient money to pay for enough food.

When asked how they would respond to the forthcoming increases in energy/fuel prices, nearly eight out of ten Devon households said they were planning to reduce energy usage this winter (79%).

Household types likely to be most affected and resort to borrowing, switching off heating altogether, or spending time away from their home while the heating was off including single adults with children, those with lower incomes and children, where respondents or were long-term sick or disabled, were household members had one or more mental/physical health conditions, where the main respondent was unemployed, and those renting from the council or social housing.

The research was untaken by Transform Research on behalf of Devon County Council.

The full report can be accessed below:

Food and Fuel Insecurity in Devon, January 2023