DOI: 10.1111/jcms.13568 ISSN: 0021-9886

How Do European Countries Use EU‐Funded Food Aid and How Important Is It for the Most Deprived?

Karen Hermans, Bea Cantillon
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Business and International Management


The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) aims at providing food and (non‐)material assistance to the most vulnerable European citizens. Linking macro and micro data on the importance of FEAD resources shows, however, a mixed picture of targeting the most deprived: although FEAD budgets accrue more to countries with greater social needs, when the budgets are compared with the number of severely deprived persons, FEAD resources were found to be more than twice as high in Finland than in Hungary. This suggests that FEAD does not differentiate sufficiently across countries to focus on the poorest citizens within the Union. Moreover, a micro‐level analysis of how these budgets are spent in a number of selected countries (Belgium, Finland, Hungary and Spain) reveals large between‐ and within‐country variations in the developed FEAD programmes, indicating substantial discretionary leeway for Member States and social organisations to implement FEAD.

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