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Leading ARC Wessex Researcher gives Keynote at Cost of Living Summit

Dr Dianna Smith gave the keynote speech at the Southampton Cost of Living Summit. She has recently published a book: ‘Food Deserts and Food Insecurity in the UK’.

Speaking on Cost of Living: national and local insights, she outlined how charities are seeking to move more people out of needing charitable support and facilitating relationships with state services to better access state support.  

Speaking from Love Southampton who organised the summit, Paul Woodman said, ‘Dianna offered unique insight into the area of food poverty, having visited the Southampton food banks and marketplaces as part of her academic research programme’.  

The keynote set the tone for the summit funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and attended by over 200 in a hybrid meeting. One delegate said,’ The statistics gave a stark reminder of the depth and scale of the issues facing us all. It was also rather sobering.’

Dr Dianna Smith commented, 'I was delighted to bring an academic insight to the Cost-of-Living Summit. As many people are affected by rising prices, I highlighted how low-income families are disproportionately affected by the rises, due to store format pricing and lack of access to store brand food in smaller shops. We saw this in the New Forest, where the same list of 20 items cost over £20 more in small Tesco Express compared to Tesco Superstore 7 miles away. My work alongside charity leaders in Southampton helps us all to shape services to relieve hardship where it is at its worse.'