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Rising Food Bank Use Across Scotland’s Communities

The Trussell Trust charity recently revealed that they had distributed 128,490 emergency food parcels in Scotland between April and September 2023 This is more than ever before for this six-month period and a nine percent increase compared to the same period last year. Of this number, 59 percent went to families with children. 

Some of the reasons cited for this need included ‘low incomes, especially from social security, debt, health conditions, and issues with social security payments such as delays or sanctions’. Many people are using a food bank for the first time as they find themselves unable to afford essentials. The trust predict that things will continue to get worse over winter. 

“A generation is growing up believing that it’s normal to see a food bank in every community. This is not right.  

“Rising hunger and hardship have devastating consequences for individuals and our communities, damage the nation’s health and hold back our economy. People in work, as well as people who cannot work, are increasingly being pushed into debt and forced to turn to a food bank to survive.   

“Despite this, there are some positives in Scotland. The Trussell Trust recently welcomed the Scottish Government’s support for an Essentials Guarantee, the publication of its plan, Cash First: Towards Ending the need for food banks, and the launch of its Cash First Fund. These are significant steps towards a future where no one needs to use a food bank. 

“However, at a time when need for emergency support is greater than ever, the scale of the hunger and hardship faced by thousands in Scotland must be met with significantly scaled up action this winter and beyond.”Polly Jones, head of the Trussell Trust in Scotland

Here are The Scottish Beacon, we are in the unique position of being able to share what’s happening in communities across the country by bringing together stories from some of the 22 independently owned-community based publications that make up our partners. 

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