Foodbanks and Tafeln: Faith-Based and Secular Institutions of Food Provision for People in Need in Germany, the UK and the Republic of Ireland

Friday, 20 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Kornelia SAMMET, Leipzig University, Germany
Franz ERHARD, Leipzig University, Germany
In our talk, we will present major findings from our research project that compares different European welfare models on various levels. In this project, we assume that welfare state regimes are rooted in religious traditions and therefore develop different ‘cultures of poverty’. Based on qualitative data, we analyse worldviews of people depending on social support in various national contexts.

Our paper will have a look at the impact of religious concepts of poor relief on different levels: a) general semantics of welfare, b) the implementation and appropriation of these ideas on an institutional level in faith-based as well as secular organisations, and c) on how deprived and impoverished individuals perceive their living conditions and options within these structural circumstances. Our explanation starts at the institutional meso-level, using interviews (group discussions, biographical and expert interviews) we conducted at foodbanks in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Germany in order to make our presentation more vivid. Based on these considerations about the general logic of different foodbank systems, we then also investigate how the users of the foodbanks deal with these structural defaults. We show how different and yet entwined the two perspectives on neediness are and reflect on the general understandings behind it of how poor relief should be designed, on semantics of deserving and undeserving poverty, etc.