Food Poverty: Scotland

Part of Delegated Legislation – in the House of Commons at 8:05 pm on 7th May 2019.

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Photo of Hugh Gaffney Hugh Gaffney Labour, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 8:05 pm, 7th May 2019

Yes, I agree with that. The demand has gone through the roof. In fact, Coatbridge food bank has now doubled the size of its unit—I helped them to achieve that. That is not what I was going to say, but that is what has happened anyway.

We must look at the underlying causes of food poverty in Scotland. Oxford University carried out research into food bank users across the UK in 2017. It found that every two in five food bank users were waiting for benefit payments, with the delay in receiving payments being the primary cause of their food bank use. One in six households using food banks had at least one person in work, but that was often insecure employment, such as a job on a zero-hours contract. Food bank users were also found to have monthly household incomes of no greater than £500. Some 16% were even found to have no income at all in the month before they became a food bank user. The food poverty crisis is clearly driven by low pay, insecure employment and the Government’s welfare reforms.