Three foodbanks in a decade of austerity: foodbank affective atmospheres

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    Poverty in the UK continues to rise, making it more important than ever to understand lived experiences of poverty. This paper responds to a gap in understanding collective experiences of poverty by analysing the affective atmospheres at three foodbanks in two British cities in 2014 and 2019. Drawing on ethnographies at the three foodbanks, it approaches affective atmospheres through Spinoza and a focus on capacity: the capacity of clients to be in a situation different to that of their current experience of food poverty; and the capacity of foodbank volunteers and managers in terms of how they desired the foodbank to be run. Overall, the paper argues that affective atmospheres at the foodbanks were formed by an ever‐changing relation between these capacities through the past, present, and anticipated future, and the ongoing context of austerity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1018-1037
    Number of pages20
    Issue number4
    Early online date17 Feb 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


    • affect
    • affective atmospheres
    • austerity
    • capacity
    • foodbank
    • poverty

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Earth-Surface Processes

    Institute themes

    • Faith and Peaceful Relations


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