The country’s leading food bank charity has said that it handed out more food parcels than ever before between April and the end of September this year.
More than 820,000 emergency food parcels were distributed to people in severe need during that six-month period by the Trussell Trust, which operates a network of food banks across the UK.
Roughly a third of those parcels (just over 300,000) were given to children whose parents or guardians couldn’t otherwise afford to feed them, according to the charity.
Strikingly, the Trussell Trust has said that it gave out 23 per cent more emergency food parcels in the six months to September this year than was the case during the same period of 2018.
Key reasons why so many people, across Scotland and the rest of the UK, are finding themselves in desperate need of food supplies include problems with state benefit provisions and changes to the associated payment systems.
“More people than ever before are being forced to food banks’ doors,” said the Trussell Trust’s chief executive Emma Revie.
“Our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty, but currently thousands of women, men and children are not receiving sufficient protection from destitution.”
Ms Revie went on to insist that all major political parties taking part in the ongoing General Election should pledge to protect people from hunger and commit to making sure that everyone has enough money to survive.
“We want our next government to start working towards a future where no one needs a food bank by ending the five week wait for Universal Credit, ensuring benefit payments cover the cost of living, and investing in local emergency support for people in crisis,” she said.
“Together, these three changes will put money back into the pockets of people who most need our support.”
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The Scottish government has said it will be providing local authorities across the country with an extra £30 million to help them tackle financial insecurity in their areas.
MPs at Westminster have argued that people applying for Universal Credit (UC) should not be forced to wait five weeks before receiving their first payments.
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