National Plan to End the Need for Foodbanks

The Scottish Government has published a draft plan which would see the end of Foodbanks in our communities. The plan has the support of organisations which currently run Foodbanks in Scotland.

The plan is now out for consultation.

The consultation seeks views on the Scottish Government’s vision and approach to ending the need for food banks as a primary response to food insecurity, and invites further suggestions on what more can be done to shape a national plan. Views are sought by 25 January 2022.

Ending the need for food banks: a draft national plan

Sabine Goodwin, co-ordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network, said:

“As the cut to Universal Credit and cost of living increases exacerbate poverty in Scotland, the publication of the draft national plan to end the need for food banks couldn’t be more timely.

“With a cash first, collaborative approach to food insecurity as the cornerstone of this plan, a time when food banks will no longer be needed to plug the gaps left by financial hardship is within sight.”

A report commissioned by The Trussell Trust the ‘State of Hunger’, is the largest ever study into hunger and food bank use in the UK. The research was conducted by Heriot-Watt University.

The Trussell Trust says hunger in the UK isn’t about food, it’s about people not having enough money for the basics. 

The research shows extremely low income is a key factor in driving people to food banks. In early 2020, the average monthly household income after housing costs for people who needed to use a food bank was £248 on average, or £8 a day for a couple without children. This needs to cover energy and water costs, council tax, food, and other essentials and is just 13% of the average national income.

The main reason people had such low income was due to social security payments failing to cover the cost of living.

Shona Robison, Social Justice Secretary, in the Scottish Government said:

“We share the same vision as food bank operators – they are not a long term solution to poverty. Our draft plan sets out what we will do within our powers – including introducing a shopping voucher pilot scheme – to make food banks the last port of call.  

“Over the last year we have invested around £2.5 billion to support low income households, including nearly £1 billion to directly support children.

“Despite our fixed budget and limited powers we are taking action to support those in poverty, including discussions around establishing a minimum income guarantee for Scotland.

“As part of the right to an adequate standard of living, people need to be able to access food that meets their dietary, social and cultural needs and this plan shows the way forward.”

The Scottish Government consultation closes on 25th January 2022 and can be found here: Ending the need for food banks: a draft national plan

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