Need for Scottish food banks skyrockets

By Ross Gilchrist

Scottish Food Bank use has hit an all-time high with a report saying nearly 77,000 emergency food packs were issued in the last year. The Trussell Trust report stated that the new figures reflect an increase in volume and called for urgent action to reform Universal Credit and said that the largest cause of referral was issues with a benefit payment.

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Tony Graham, Scotland director of the Trussell Trust said, “Foodbanks will be working hard to provide dignified, non-judgmental support to people, but we are concerned that the ongoing impact of welfare reform – especially UC roll-out – combined with increased demand we traditionally see over winter will leave foodbanks struggling to feed everyone that comes through the doors.”

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The Scottish Labour spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions, Hugh Gaffey, said, “Politicians must take responsibility for this sorry state of affairs and work to understand how we can solve the problem. The Tories must start by listening to the recommendations of the Trussell Trust and reducing the six-week wait for Universal Credit. This must surely serve as a wake-up call to the SNP government to start using the powers of the Scottish Parliament to put an end to austerity and tackle child poverty.”

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