Sharon McDougall - 15th November 2022 - 2 minutes to read
Food bank facilities across Scotland and the rest of the UK are close to “breaking point”, according to the Trussell Trust.
The charity is the foremost food bank operator in the country and has revealed that demand for its services has risen sharply over the course of 2022.
Around 1.3 million emergency food parcels were distributed by the Trussell Trust between April and the end of September, which represents a 52 per cent increase compared to the same six-month period in 2019.
A little over 116,000 emergency food parcels are understood to have been given out across Scotland in the six months to the end of September.
Close to half a million food parcels were given to children during the relevant period and around 320,000 people are thought to have used a food bank for the first time during what the Trussell Trust counts as the first half of its financial year.
Worryingly, the charity has said that for the first time demand for its services is outstripping the supply of donations it receives.
There are concerns that demand for emergency food parcels will also increase still further during the winter months, with so many people feeling squeezed financially and facing issues around problem debts.
“These new statistics show that, even in summer months, people are struggling to afford the essentials and we are expecting that this winter will be the hardest yet for food banks and the people they support,” said Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust.
“We urge the UK government to realise their commitment of supporting people on the lowest income with a broad package of support.
“As well as ensuring that benefits rise with inflation as soon as possible, this must go further to close the gap between price rises and incomes over the winter.”
In Scotland, the Scottish Child Payment was recently increased to £25 per week, per child for eligible families living on low incomes and expanded to include any child up the age of 16.
Those payments are designed to help provide some financial support to households in which children are at risk of growing up in hardship.
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