Types of food access

Food accessibility refers to affordability and allocation of food as well as the preferences of individuals and households.


There are 2 distinct types of access;direct access in which a household produces food using human and material resources and economic access in which a household purchases food produced elsewhere.

The UN Committee on Economy,Social and Cultural rights noted that the causes of hunger and malnutrition ate often not a scarcity  of food but an inability to access available food due to poverty.

Factors limiting access to food

Poverty can limit access to food and can also increase how vulnerable an individual or household is to food price spikes

Access depends on whether the household has enough income to purchase food at prevailing prices or has sufficient land and other resources to grow it’s own food.

Households with enough resources can overcome unstable and local food shortages and maintain their access to food.

Location can affect access to food and which type of access a family will rely on.

The assets of a family including income, land,products of labour, inheritances and gifts can determine a household’s access to food.

However, the ability to access sufficient food may not lead to purchase over other materials and services.

Demographics and education levels of the household’s head determines the preferences of the household, which influences the type of foods that are purchased.

A household’s access to enough and nutritious food may not assure adequate food intake of all household members,as intra house food allocation may not sufficiently meet the requirements of each member of the household.

*The USDA adds that access to food must be available in socially acceptable ways, without, for example, resorting to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing or other coping strategies.


Author: thenewgreenearth

A humble servant of the universe committed to enhancing harmony between man and nature!

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