BA, MA (1965/1968) University of Cambridge

Dip. SA (1966) London School of Economics

Graham Riches served as Director of the UBC School of Social Work from 1998 until his retirement in 2008. His early practice was in community development in Sarawak/Malaysia (Voluntary Service Overseas), Tanzania and in London and Liverpool (UK) as warden of the Liverpool University Settlement (1971-74). He joined academia as Lecturer in the new Department of Social Work, University of Hong Kong (1968-71), moving to Canada in 1974 as Assistant Professor in the new Faculty of Social Work at the University of Regina, teaching there until 1991. During this time he helped establish the Social Administration Research Unit of which he was Director for a number of years. In 1991 he was appointed the Foundation Professor and Chair of Social Work at James Cook University of North Queensland, Australia returning to Canada in late 1994 to the newly established School of Social Work at the University of Northern British Columbia of which he later became Chair.

He was a co-founder of the Canadian Review of Social Policy and of the Vancouver Food Policy Council and a board member of the Canadian Deans and Directors of Social Work (CASWE), and the Canadian Council on Social Development. His professional consultation has included a number of national and international bodies: the former Health and Welfare Canada; the Ministry of Social Affairs, Government of Finland; the UN Food and Agricultural Organization; the Heinrich Böll Institute, Germany the North-South Institute; the National Judicial Institute, Supreme Court of British Columbia; the Canadian Food Grains Bank; and Food Secure Canada.

His research and publications lie primarily in the field of poverty studies, human rights and social policy with a focus on the politics of hunger, food charity (food banking), social welfare and the Right to Food in Canada and the Global North. Today he remains active in research, writing and public speaking within BC, Canada and internationally about domestic hunger, social policy and the Right to Food. His most recent publication, co-edited with Tiina Silvasti, is First World Hunger Revisited: Food Charity or the Right to Food? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).



Books and Monographs

Riches, G and Silvasti, T (co-eds) (2014). First World Hunger Revisited: Food Charity or the Right to Food, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Riches, G., Buckingham, D., MacRae, R., Ostry, A (2004). Right to Food Case Study: Canada, Rome: United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.

Riches, G (ed.) (1997). First World Hunger: Food Security and Welfare Politics, London Macmillan/New York: St. Martins, pp. 200.

Riches, G. and Ternowetsky, G. (eds.) (1990). Unemployment and Welfare: Social Policy and the Work of Social Work. Toronto: Garamond Press, pp.377.

Riches, G. (1986). Food Banks and the Welfare Crisis. Ottawa: Canadian Council on Social Development, pp. 171.


Journal Articles and Book Chapters (1998 – 2015)

Riches, G (2011), Thinking and acting outside the charitable food aid box: hunger and the right to food in rich societies. Development in Practice, Vol. 21, Numbers 4-5, June pp.768-775 on-line

Riches, G (2011) Corporate food charity keeps hunger off political agenda, The CCPA Monitor, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Vol. 17, NO. 8 February pp 26-27

Riches, G (2009), Right to Food within Canada: International Obligations-Domestic Compliance. Ch. 3 in G. Gilchrist James, R. Ramsey and G. Drover (eds), International Social Work: Canadian Perspectives, Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishin

Riches, G with E. Lightman (2009) Canada: One step Forward: Two Steps Back? Revised and reprinted in P. Alcock and G. Craig (eds), International Social Policy: Welfare Regimes in a Developed World (2nd edition), New York: Palgrave-Macmillan

Riches, G (2008), Ruokapankit ja oikeus ruokaan, Ch. 1 in Hanninen, S., Karjalainen, Lehtela, K-M. and Silvisit, T. (eds) The Bank of the Others: Food Aid in the Welfare State/Toisten Pankki: Ruoka-Apu Hyvinvointivaltiossa, Helsinki: STAKES, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Government of Finland

Rideout, K., Riches, G., Ostry, A., Buckingham, D., MacRae, R (2007) Bringing home the right to food in Canada: challenges and possibilities for achieving food security, Public Health Nutrition, 10.6: 559-565

Riches, G (2006) The right to food: a recipe for action. Canadian Issues (Special Edition). Journal of the Association of Canadian Studies, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, McGill University, Winter, 52-57

Riches, G. (2006) Advancing the right to food: a social work commitment. Perspectives, BC Association of Social Workers, Vancouver, Vol. 28, No 2.

Riches, G. (2005). ‘Food Assistance Policy (Canada)’. In Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History, John Herrick et al (eds.). Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: SAGE.

Riches, G. (2004). ‘We are what we eat: food security and social policy.’ SPARC BC, Social Planning and Research Council of BC, Vol. 20, Issue 2, Winter.

Riches, G. (2003). ‘Food banks and Food Security: Welfare Reform, Human Rights and Social Policy. Lessons from Canada?’. Reprint in The Welfare of Food: rights and responsibilities in a changing world, ed. E. Dowler and C. Finer Jones. Oxford: Blackwells.

Riches, G. (2002). ‘Food Banks and Food Security: Welfare Reform, Human Rights and Social Policy. Lessons from Canadian?’ Social Policy and Administration, Vol. 36, No. 6, December.

Riches, G. (2002). ‘The Human Right to Food: Re-inventing Social Welfare.’ Canadian Review of Social Policy No. 49-50, Spring/Fall.

Riches, G. (2002). ‘The Human Right to Food.’ In Donald Lamberton (Ed.) Managing the Global: Globalization, Employment and Quality of Life. London and New York: I. B. Tauris Publishers, in association with The Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research, pp. 169-175.

Lightman, E. and Riches, G. (2001). ‘Canada: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?’. In International Social Policy: Welfare Regimes in the Developed World, ed. P. Alcock and G. Craig. New York: Palgrave, 2001. pp. 45-63.(Co-author).

Riches, G. and Lightman E. (2000). “From Modest Rights to Commodification in Canada’s Welfare State”. European Journal of Social Work 3(2):179-190.

Riches, G. (1999). “The Right to Food: Reshaping the Social Policy Debate in Canada.” Agriculture and Human Values, Journal of the Agriculture and Human Values Society 16(2):203-211.

Riches, G. (1999). “Reaffirming the Right to Food in Canada: The Role of Community-based Food Security.” In M. Koc, R. MacRae, L. Mougeot and J. Welsh (Eds.), Hunger-Proof Cities: Sustainable Urban Food Systems. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre, pp. 203-207.

Riches, G. (1999). “Fighting Hunger: The Struggle for Food Sovereignty.” In A. Van Rooy (Ed.), Civil Society and Global Change, Canadian Development Report 1999, Ottawa: The North-South Institute (Renouf Publishers), pp. 40-49.

Riches, G. (1998). “Hunger in the first world: food security and the politics of welfare.” Ch. 7 in S. MacPherson and HK Wong (Eds.), Social Development and Societies in Transition, Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 98-106.