Figures have revealed that an increasing number of poverty-stricken families in Scotland are turning to charity food banks as they are grappling with mounting economic woes.
According to fresh figures recently released by the Trussell Trust, which operates the largest network of food banks in the UK, the number of hard-up Scottish families who depend on food banks to survive has doubled in the last year. The report said more than 51,000 people reached for the charity service to receive a three-day supply of food between April and September this year, which is up some 124 percent compared to the same period last year. The data further show that more than 15,000 children were among those relying on charity food in Scotland.
“Welfare problems still account for the highest proportion of those using our food banks in Scotland,” explained Ewan Gurr, the Trussell Trust’s network manager in Scotland. He also voiced alarm over the soaring number of Scottish families relying on charity food, adding, “The rising cost of food and fuel for those on static incomes and minimal employment opportunities for those both in work and out of work is forcing many families to deal with the horror of hidden hunger.”
In December 2013 over 9,000 men, women and children received emergency food parcels, around 45 percent higher than the previous month.
The Scotland’s Outlook campaign group estimated that more than 870,000 people were currently living in poverty across Scotland as a result of the UK government’s welfare and benefit reforms.