Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Foodbank use in Scotland triples in seven years

The number of food parcels handed out by Trussell Trust has tripled in just seven years.

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The number of foodbank parcels handed out in Scotland has tripled in 7 years, according to shocking new statistics provided by the Trussell Trust.

This year, Trussell Trust food banks handed out 237,225 food parcels in Scotland – an increase of almost 165,000 parcels since 2013/14. 

An additional 278,258 emergency food parcels were given out by 91 independent food banks in Scotland between April 2018 and September 2019.

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Responding to the new statistics, Bob Doris MSP said: “Food banks are working incredibly hard to continue to provide emergency food safely to people who cannot afford to buy the essentials – but they cannot continue to pick up the pieces because of gaps in the UK government’s support schemes.” 

A near empty food cupboard. Photo: Oxfam.

She continued: “While the Scottish Government has done its best to tackle poverty here, we continue to have to spend money to protect the most vulnerable in our communities from Tory cuts.

“The majority of welfare spending still remains firmly in the hands of the Tories – who dithered and delayed on extending free school meals through the holidays and had to be shamed into supporting low-income families through this pandemic.”

She added: “This UK government must heed the warnings of front-line organisations all over the country, and act before more families and children and are pushed into poverty. 

“Making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent and extending it to legacy benefits would be a good place to start rebuilding the security system the Tories have spent years dismantling, and preventing the number of families relying on food banks from increasing further.”

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DWP faces judicial review after mentally ill man found ‘starved to death’

Errol Graham starved to death in June 2018 after the DWP stopped his benefits.