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A Food Bank Christmas Dinner Awaited 2000 Scottish children, Says Debt Management Company Scottish Trust Deeds

A leading food bank estimates that around 2000 Scottish children will have eaten Christmas dinner that was provided through its box scheme, reflecting a growing problem with poverty across the nation says debt management company Scottish Trust Deeds.

 

The Tussell Trust, a charity which is dedicated to tackling poverty and which runs a network of food banks the across the UK, has experienced such an increase in claimants over the last year it is now planning to double the number of food banks in Scotland from 11 to 21.

 

According to the Trust’s figures, almost 6200 Scottish people have been given food parcels, which usually consists of a three day emergency supply of food, since April. Included in this are over 1900 children, and the figures are expected to rise even further in the next few months.

Chris Mould, director of the Trussell Trust, said: “Our food banks serve people who are migrating downwards. Incomes have not been rising in line with inflation, particularly for low-paid people who are working more overtime and facing work that is less certain.”

 

Surprisingly, the Trust estimates around half of the people claiming food parcels come from a household where at least one person works full-time.

 

Ewan Gurr, Scottish development officer, said: “People who had sustainable jobs have seen food prices increase by 30 per cent over the last six years. Energy prices have gone up steeply too, so there should be no stigma in coming forward for help. People feel all kinds of emotions coming to a food bank – embarrassment, maybe indignity – but we are there to help them. As well as providing our own support, we refer people to agencies who can help with their situation.”

 

In order to claim a food parcel, an individual or family must be assessed and referred by frontline care professionals that consider them to be experiencing a genuine crisis so harsh they can no longer feed themselves. However, they cannot claim any more than three parcels a year.

 

Margaret Lynch, chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “Many of Scotland’s low-paid workers and people who rely on welfare benefits face a Dickensian situation. The fact that 50 per cent of those getting food parcels are working is shocking. The fact that the remaining 50 per cent do so because their benefit payments are delayed or because of changes to their benefits entitlement is both avoidable and disgraceful.”

 

A spokesperson for debt management company Scottish Trust Deeds said: “The current situation almost defies belief. The fact that so many people cannot make ends meet despite having jobs show a worrying decline in of people’s living standards towards poverty, and it is causing ever greater numbers to live in desperate situations. It is shocking that a charity like the Tussell Trust is having to help so many benefit claimaints due to delays which are directly caused by government red tape and bureaurocracy.”

 

“It’s a cause for concern that Scotland is the seventh-largest economy in the world, yet still needs the help of food banks to feed its citizens. Something has gone badly wrong somewhere.”

 

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