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Food Banks Return

We all see the TV adverts from the Red Cross, UNICEF and Oxfam for donations to aid the starving in third world countries but what we do not expect to see are calls for aid and donations by Scottish based charities and organisations to help the poverty stricken and starving in Scotland. We live in a country that is supposed to be part of a developed nation yet it is cutting benefits alongside price hikes by energy companies.

Food banks are returning to Scotland’s streets. Not to feed the homeless and
those sleeping on the streets, but families who cannot put food on the table because they choose to heat their home rather than freeze.

According to Margaret Lynch, chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, she said: “The reason for the rise in food bank cases is that household incomes are not keeping up with the cost of living. Half of those who use food banks are actually working, but their wages are too low to sustain them. The other half are people on benefits, whose low incomes ha…

Charity begins at home

An urgent appeal for food for families and individuals in need has been made by a Highland charity. Blythswood Care, known for transporting relief aid to Eastern Europe, said there has been an increased demand in the Highlands over the winter months.

It warned that it had already helped 340 people this year and that stocks were running low. The Highland Food Bank gives a three-day supply of foodstuffs to households in financial crises.

Co-ordinator Lorna Dempster said that the Highland Food Bank helped more than 1,700 people in 2007 - an increase of 70% over the previous year, when 1,000 clients were helped

Food for Thought

From the Independent , the newspaper thats rapidly acquiring the reputation for doom and gloom , another story of impending catastrophe . The era of cheap food is coming to an end .

In the UK food prices are now rising at 6 per cent a year, twice as quickly as the general cost of living . In India the overall food price index is 10 per cent higher than last year. In China, prices are up 20 per cent for some staples. A similar inflationary trend can be seen in America.

Earlier this month, wheat prices reached their highest level in 10 years. Maize prices have doubled over the past year. Rice prices are rising too. Rice prices are climbing worldwide. Butter prices in Europe have spiked by 40 per cent in the past year. Global soybean prices have risen by a half. The food price index in India was up by 11 per cent year on year. In Mexico there have been riots in response to a 60 per cent rise in the cost of tortillas. The price of cereals in this country has jumped by 12 per cent in the pas…

Food Aid Fails

From Time magazine , how the feel good factor in charity does very little to ameliorate famine .

Food aid feels good. Last year United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) coordinated emergency food aid for 73 million people worldwide, with the U.S. contributing 60% of that total.

"There's no question that food aid saves millions of lives,"

YET

"...we're concerned that it's being asked to do too much, too inefficiently, and that by over-relying on food aid we ignore other solutions that could be more effective."

A January report by the U.N.'s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) put the question bluntly: Can food aid do more harm than good?


One-third of food-aid budgets never reaches the intended recipients and is instead swallowed up by costs in donor countries, according to the OECD. Only 15% of donated food is sourced locally . When food finally arrives — often too late to feed those most vulnerable — the influx of foreign products wreak havoc on t…