This year – 2020, Trussell Trust foodbanks handed out 237,225 food parcels in Scotland – an increase of almost 165,000 parcels since 2013/14.
An additional 278,258 emergency food parcels were given out by 91 independent food banks in Scotland between April 2018 and September 2019.
“The shocking rise in the number of people using foodbanks simply highlights that the UK is a failed state. We can do much better if we had the full powers of a normal independent nation,” said Renfrewshire Councillor Natalie Don, SNP candidate for Renfrewshire North and West commenting on the news that the number of foodbank parcels handed out in Scotland has tripled in seven years, according to new statistics provided by the Trussell Trust.
Cllr Natalie Don added: “Food banks are working incredibly hard to continue to provide emergency food safely to people who cannot afford to buy the essentials – but they cannot continue to pick up the pieces because of gaps in the UK Government’s support schemes.
“While the Scottish Government has done its best to tackle poverty here, we continue to have to spend money to protect the most vulnerable in our communities from Tory cuts.
“The majority of welfare spending still remains firmly in the hands of the Tories – who dithered and delayed on extending free school meals through the holidays and had to be shamed into supporting low-income families through this pandemic.
“This UK Government has ignored the warnings of front-line organisations all over the country, but they must act before more families and children and are pushed into poverty.
“Making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent and extending it to legacy benefits would be a good place to start rebuilding the security system the Tories have spent years dismantling, and preventing the number of families relying on food banks from increasing further.
“The Tory Government has been handing out Covid contracts to their backers without any scrutiny and are putting this ahead of feeding the hungry. They simply don’t care about anyone else. We can do better if only we had the full powers of a normal independent nation and we could create a fairer, more equal society – but that will never happen if we are tied to the corrupt Westminster politics.”
Renfrewshire Foodbank opening hours during the 2020 festive season:
Wednesday 30 December 2020:
Johnstone St Paul’s Church, Quarrelton Road, Johnstone 10am – 12 noon
Paisley Central Baptist Church, 14 Lady Lane, Paisley 1.30pm – 4.30pm
Thursday 31 December 2020:
Renfrew Baptist Church, 14 Lady Lane, Paisley 10am – 12 noon