Food poverty is at shocking levels in Scotland and throughout the UK, one of the world’s largest economies.
It is estimated that once Brexit takes hold on 1st January 2021, food prices will rise by as much as 22%. Whether or not prices rise by that much, what will happen is that they will rise.
The Covid19 pandemic has already hit people hard and the Alston Report on poverty in the UK was a damning condemnation of the austerity policies pursued by successive UK Governments – from the LibDem/Conservative Coalition through to today’s Johnson administration.
The Scottish Government has committed £100million towards food initiatives to mitigate the effects of these policies and of the Covid19 pandemic. The funding goes to local authorities and the third sector.
The Food Fund
£99,000 was allocated to Orkney from the Food Fund. In total for Scotland £56,060,000 has been shared directly to councils, voluntary groups and the national shielding boxes.
The Food Fund supports those most in need including families with children who are eligible for free school meals, older people, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women.
The people who required to shield were offered food boxes delivered to their doors by local groups. This enabled them to stay safely indoors without the anxiety of having to go shopping. It also means that anyone who has to self isolate quickly is able to call up the helpline to get a food box.
The Scottish Welfare Fund
Distributing the food parcels and ensuring the support went where it was needed required additional funding too. This has also been supplied by the Scottish Government and sent directly to local authorities and organisations. To do this the Scottish Welfare Fund has been doubled.
Individuals can apply for that here: Help with living costs – Scottish Welfare Fund
The Supporting Communities Fund
The Supporting Communities Fund provides funding to community organisations, such as charities, voluntary organisations, community controlled housing associations and social enterprises to help support local responses to the Covid19 pandemic.
You can find all the awards it has made here: Awards Made SCVO
13 local organisations in Orkney have so far benefited from this fund so that they can deliver the help and support where it is needed in their communities.