8% of Scots Worry About Running Out of Food Due to Lack of Money
September 27, 2018
As many as 8 per cent of adults living in Scotland worry about the prospect of running out of food and not having enough money to replace it, a newly published report has found.
An official 2017 Scottish Health Survey asked questions about food insecurity for the first time and found that one in 10 people living in the poorest parts of the country ran out of food at some point during the year prior to being polled.
Around 3,700 adults and 1,600 children living in Scotland were surveyed for the report, with financial problems clearly causing many people to go hungry or become fearful of doing so over the course of 2017.
Only 1 per cent of people in the more affluent parts of Scotland worried about whether they’d have enough food to eat but the problem was much more commonplace in poorer areas.
Indeed, close to a fifth (18 per cent) of the people polled in poorer areas said they had been worried about running out of food and money at some point over the past year, with the figure slightly higher at 21 per cent among single parents.
Campaigners who have been seeking to highlight and raise awareness of concerns around food insecurity in Scotland suggested that the report shed valuable light on what is a very serious problem.
“These statistics paint a grim picture of hunger across the country,” said Dr Mary Anne MacLeod, who is policy officer at the campaign group A Menu for Change.
“Given Scotland isn’t facing a food shortage, this is clearly a problem of widespread poverty,” she said.
Dr MacLeod went on to say that she felt low wages, insecure employment, frozen benefit levels and the rollout of Universal Credit are all contributing to food insecurity across Scotland and “pushing more and more people to the brink”.
“When so many people are struggling to make ends meet you know something has gone badly wrong with the system,” she said.
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