Our work on Goal 2

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

As one of the world’s leading research institutions and the UK’s first university to have social responsibility as a core goal, we’re tackling the SDGs in four inter-related ways: through our research, learning and students, public engagement activity and operations.

Here’s a selection of our work addressing Goal 2.



Through the Diverseafood project, our researchers are investigating how seafood can contribute to sustainable, healthy diets.

They are assessing the best methods to transition to more diverse seafood intake by looking at the impacts of sustainable aquaculture at the levels of business models, policy, and consumer acceptance.

Tackling groundwater arsenic and health inequalities in India

In northern India’s rural communities, increased exposure to high concentrations of arsenic and other chemicals found in groundwater has contributed to a rise in cancer and cardiovascular disease, adding to the public health inequalities and poor health outcomes of the region.

Our Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences has shown the importance of rice as an exposure route for inorganic arsenic where microbes promote its release from materials such as sand and silt.

This research led to recommendations focusing on rice selection and preparation techniques, highlighting the dangers of groundwater irrigation.


Learning and students

Manchester Central Foodbank

Since its inception in 2013, the UK’s first student-led and campus-based foodbank, Manchester Central Foodbank, has helped thousands of local citizens with food insecurity.

This included developing an online store and delivery system for vulnerable and isolated people, and providing 70,000 meals during the pandemic in 2020.

Study programmes

Our BA Geography students undertake a Food and Farming unit covering hunger, ethical consumerism, environmental sustainability, animal rights and social equity.

Biosciences undergraduates take a Plants for the Future unit exploring how plant biology can address social and environmental challenges.

Through a Green Biotechnology unit, students engage with the latest developments in sustainable food production, energy generation and pharmaceutical production.


Public engagement

FutureDAMS Approach

As part of our world-leading FutureDAMS programme, we’ve produced a guide (PDF) to propose a series of steps and principles for conducting public, private and community stakeholder engagement in decision-making around water-energy-food-environment (WEFE) interventions.

This is underpinned by the principle that better decisions are generated when a broad range of stakeholders are included in a genuinely participatory manner.

Smallholder irrigation development

Millions of smallholder farmers worldwide lack access to reliable and cost-effective water supplies for irrigation.

We’re working with small-scale farmers in Africa and Asia, governments and development agencies to design and assess technological, economical and institutional solutions to improve water access, livelihoods, and resilience to climate change.



Community Fridge

Our student-run, campus zero waste shop, Want Not Waste, holds a community fridge.

This contains food from unsold meals offered by local business and surplus raw ingredients provided by our catering outlets.

Stocking these items combats local food waste while helping to tackle food insecurity within our own university community.

Kindling Trust

We support the Kindling Trust, a local organisation aiming to combat climate change, biodiversity loss, and economic inequity, by challenging and subverting the industrial food system. We buy vegetables through Kindling’s operatives and have taken shares in Kindling Farm – a new blueprint for fair, organic and ecological farming.