Local MSP Rhoda Grant Labour is urging the Scottish Government to bring forward a statutory right to food in law.
Rhoda Grant will be writing to foodbank organisations across Scotland to ensure they take steps to make their users’ voices heard on a future Good Food Nation Bill.
Rhoda Grant said:
“We live in a developed nation in the 21st century and it is a national scandal that foodbank use is increasing year upon year upon year. Scottish Labour believe that there should be a statutory right to food, which brings together all of the current policies, gives them a guiding force, and has the power to measure the government’s success in feeding its people. In developing legislation, we believe that people who are most affected by food insecurity should have the opportunity to contribute to how the government can make things better.”
“However, we accept that this is challenging, as those most affected by food insecurity tend to be the most marginalised and vulnerable people in society, who are unlikely to have their voice heard.
“I am writing to foodbank organisations in Scotland to find out whether they have any plans to make service users aware of the consultation, and how they are supporting them in submitting their views to the outcome of the consultation.
“While I understand that engaging with the government’s legislative process is not going to be the first thing on people’s minds when visiting foodbanks, I think that it is important that we listen to people who are most affected by the issues discussed, and take account of their views”
The consultation sets out the Scottish Government’s proposals for legislation around the Good Food Nation ambition.
The consultation closes on 29th of March 2019. You can find a link to it here: Good Food Nation
A Scottish Food Commission was established in 2015 and in 2018 a programme of measures was published on how to take forward its recommendations.
The measures included:
- The Healthcare Retail Standard(HRS) – all 112 shops in the NHS must now meet criteria where 50% of food and 70% of drink is ‘healthy’ and only certain items can be promoted
- The Healthy Living Award – a national award for the food service sector in Scotland.
- The Healthy Living Programme – a voluntary scheme for over 2,200 convenience stores
- The Food For Life Programme – used in 11 of Scotland’s Local Authorities it promotes the use of locally sourced, healthy foods to be used in schools.
Food poverty haunts many households in Scotland. The consultation is an important step in the process to bring a Bill to the Scottish Parliament to establish the Right to Food.