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Nearest food banks in Scotland – what are your options?

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 20th May 2024 - 3 minutes to read

The latest figures on the use of food banks in Scotland show a disproportionately high need by Scottish residents in terms of population numbers, when compared with any other area of the UK.

The Trussell Trust distributed 145,865 food parcels to Scottish residents in 2016/17 via their food banks, with almost 48,000 of those food parcels going to children. In comparison, the total number distributed to adults and children in 2015/16 was 133,726.

Earning a low income, losing a job, or experiencing a delay in receipt of benefit payments, can lead to sudden or severe poverty that results in this type of crisis. So how do you gain access to this vital resource?

How to use food banks in Scotland?

People in need of help are referred to the charity by a professional, such as a health visitor or social worker. If you obtain a referral you’ll receive a 3-day pack of nutritionally balanced food, and be able to take advantage of other resources offered by The Trussell Trust.

The charity runs more than 420 food banks nationwide. Their ‘Find a food bank’ website tool helps you find the nearest food bank – you just input your location and local food banks are displayed as a list, and also on a map.

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Which other vital services are offered alongside food banks?

The Trussell Trust provides other help for people in crisis. Their ‘More Than Food’ programme is designed to develop the food banks in Scotland and around the UK into ‘community hubs,’ where access to vital advice and support is readily available.

Funded by a number of organisations and individuals including Unilever, Comic Relief, and The Big Lottery Fund, you’ll be able to take advantage of workshops and courses on managing your money, how to eat healthily on a low budget, school holiday clubs, and a Fuel Bank scheme.

Why has there been a huge increase in the use of food banks in Scotland?

Benefit delays and changes, as well as low incomes, have been the main driver for people to access the food bank service around the whole of the UK, with debt and homelessness also being factors.

For Scotland in particular,

  • Problems in the oil and gas industry have resulted in a high number of job losses in the Aberdeen area, resulting in an increase of almost 39% in the use of food banks in Aberdeen. In fact, only seven areas of Scotland haven’t experienced a rise in demand.
  • The roll-out of Universal Credit in Scotland has also been linked by the charity to the increased use of food banks. They report a “16.85% average increase in referrals for emergency food, more than double the national average of 6.64%.”

If you’re living in poverty, and are unable to cover the basic necessities of life, Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Our expert team works from five offices around Scotland – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness – and can arrange a same-day meeting free-of-charge.

Scotland Debt Solutions has been helping Scottish residents to escape debt since 1989 – let us assess your situation and identify your best course of action at this extremely stressful time.

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Sharon McDougall


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