Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Food Parcel Nation

Food banks in Scotland handed out a record number of food parcels last year, according to new figures.
More than 170,000 three day emergency food supplies were distributed by The Trussell Trust's 52 food banks.
The charity said it saw a 17% increase in demand north of the border in 2017/18, compared to the previous year.
And it claimed a growing proportion of people referred to Scottish food banks have found that their benefits do not cover the cost of essentials. It said the proportion of low income households seeking help from its food banks had increased significantly since April 2016.
The key findings of its latest report were:
  • 170,625 food parcels were distributed in Scotland in 2017/18 - 17% more than in the previous year
  • 55,038 parcels went to children
  • 28% of referrals were on a low income, receiving benefits (up from 22% in 2016/17)
  • Debt accounted for 8% of referrals, up from 7% last year
  • Benefits delays (22%) and benefit changes (18%) accounted for a large number referrals

Audrey Flannigan manages one of The Trussell Trust's food banks in Glasgow. She said people whose benefits did not stretch to buying essentials were using the service.
"They need to be able to buy things like soap, toothpaste, put money in the meter, they need to be able to buy the kids new shoes or clothes when they need them...asking someone to wait between five and seven weeks before you get your first lot of money surely has to be seen as immoral and inhumane."" she said.
Tony Graham, the director of Scotland at The Trussell Trust, said no-one in Scotland should be left hungry or destitute.
"Food banks are providing absolutely vital, compassionate support in communities across our country, but no charity can replace the dignity of having long-term financial security," he added. "It's completely unacceptable that anyone is forced to turn to a food bank in Scotland, and we'll continue to campaign for systemic change until everyone has enough money coming in to keep pace with the rising cost of essentials like food and housing."

The number of food parcels distributed by The Trussell Trust

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