This paper is to set focus on innovative ways to combat food poverty in rural
Hungary. Food poverty is associated with malnutrition which can refer both to the
lack of food and its dissatisfying quality. Food poverty in the post-socialist rural
context does not emerge as a consequence of natural catastrophes or lacking
accessibility to food. Rather, it is the outcome of the unequal distribution of incomes
and resources. Methods of overcoming food-poverty emerge primarily in the
interplay between post-socialist welfare institutions and civil society initiatives, even
if market agents occupy an increasing role in neo-neoliberal regimes as donators of
charity and resources or as collaborators in poverty alleviation projects.
Municipalities work within the paradigms of the welfare state and its social benefit
system as redistributors of state resources, in contrast civil society agents represent
partial interests and work from principles independent of the state redistributive
Therefore, it is of interest to explore in which way poverty relief programmes put
emphasis on the importance of community development and participation of
marginalized groups in the development of individual and group resources
necessary for overcoming their exclusion. The paper explores municipality versus
civil organization approaches along the dimensions of agency; whether and if so in
which way these social food projects worked for the empowerment of marginalized
groups. In this pursuit I focus on immaterial aspects of empowerment, where, as
argued above, the development of social resources constitutes a central role.
Furthermore, the paper explores the differences and potential synergies between
municipality and civil organization based social agriculture projects aiming to
combat marginalization welfare dependency.
Budapest, 2015. 84-106 p.