This paper argues that the high and volatile food prices that triggered a renewed interest in food security since the 2008–09 crisis are expected to continue due to the impacts of climate change. It notes that current policy is focused on food production; however, a broader approach based on food systems would be more appropriate as it encompasses all aspects of food production, storage, distribution and consumption. As most low-income groups in both rural and urban areas are net buyers of food, access and affordability are central concerns. There is also a need for more attention to urban food security, because more than half of the world’s population now live in urban centres, where there is considerable inequality between wealthier groups and the residents of low-income and informal settlements. The paper concludes that effective policies need to address urban food insecurity in both its income and non-income dimensions, and their impact on gendered disadvantage.