Food Banks

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 2nd December 2020.

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stopping food aid, because it is not the dignified response that we want for people and communities. That is why the winter package that was announced by the First Minister is critical. It is about getting cash to families, because they know how best to spend it and to meet their needs. How they do that should not be dictated to them by the Scottish Government. That is also why we have taken a cash-first approach to food insecurity, using the infrastructure that we have through the Scottish welfare fund.

I agree with the Trussell Trust on that approach, and we discussed areas where we might be able to make improvements. Again, in the work that we will take forward with the trust, we will try to develop good learning, good practice and good ways in which we can make as much use of the Scottish welfare fund as possible, particularly as we go into the darker, colder and more expensive winter months. We also have Brexit challenges ahead, so there is a lot of need for us to ensure that the money that we put in to support families gets to them in the most dignified way possible.