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North-east food banks bending under weight of increased demand

Thursday January 9th 2020 at 10:58 AM

Food banks in the North-east are bending under the weight of increased pressure on their services.

Statistics published by A Menu for Change and the Independent Food Aid Network revealed 12 organisations in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire handed out 30,448 three-day emergency food parcels  in just 18 months.

Scotland-wide, nearly 596,472 supply packages were distributed, an increase of 22%.

Data collated from independent food banks, which make up 42% of the total picture north of the border, has been combined with Trussell Trust figures to lay bare the full scale of usage.

Between April 2018 and September 2019, 278,258 emergency food parcels were distributed by 91 independent food banks in Scotland.

The Trussell Trust revealed a further 318,214 parcels were handed out by its network of 135 organisations.

Evan Adamson, Food Bank Manager at Instant Neighbour in Aberdeen said: “More and more people across the city and shire are unable to make ends meet because of inadequate and insecure incomes.

“This new data shows how much independent food banks are relied on to support people in need in Scotland.

“It’s not right that anyone in Scotland should be forced to turn to a food bank to put a meal on the table.

“We need the Scottish and UK governments to make sure everyone has enough income to cover the basic cost of living, which means decent wages and adequate benefits.”

A Menu for Change, the partnership between Oxfam Scotland, Nourish Scotland, the Poverty Alliance and the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, has teamed up with the Independent Food Aid Network to call on the UK government to ensure people don’t end up in food insecurity.

Last year, research revealed how inadequate and insecure incomes, from both benefits and employment, are causing people to fall below the read line.

Margaret MacLachlan, Project Manager, A Menu for Change said: “As we start a new decade, the relentless pressures forcing people to need emergency food aid continues. These figures are deeply troubling and reveal a grim picture of rising levels of food insecurity in Scotland.

“No one in rich Scotland should run out of money to buy food and political leaders must act now to prevent more people being dragged into poverty.”

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