McMillan highlights concern over increase in Foodbank use

“The increase in the use of foodbanks is an indicator that the Tory UK Government’s policies are harming the most vulnerable in our communities”, said Stuart McMillan, SNP candidate for Greenock & Inverclyde.

New data from the Trussell Trust has shown that foodbank use in Scotland has again broken records, as more people are relying on emergency food aid than ever before.

Data from the UK’s largest foodbank provider, The Trussell Trust, shows that in the 2014/15 financial year, 133,726 emergency supply packages were given out to people in crisis by its 51 food banks – an increase of 13% on the previous year.
Included in this was 43,962 packages for children.

Benefit delays remain the primary reason for referral to a food bank in Scotland, with more than a quarter of recipients affected. Worryingly more people are being referred to the charity’s foodbanks due to low income, up to 22% from 19% the year before.

Ewan Gurr, the trust’s Scotland manager, said:

“The figures released today highlight an alarming number of people hitting a crisis and being unable to buy food.

“The main increase has been to the numbers on low incomes, which is leaving people without enough to live on. In addition to that, almost half of referrals in Scotland are due to a benefit-related difficulty.

Stuart McMillan added:

“I was the first MSP to lead a debate on foodbanks and it is a disgrace that in a rich nation like Scotland so many of our citizens have to rely on foodbanks to survive.

“In Scotland, we have heard from people using food banks due to the heart-breaking reality of losing a job in the oil and steel industries, others feeling a sense of despair after delays to a Universal Credit payment and some who have experienced sanctions that have impacted on their physical and mental wellbeing.”

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