Trussell Trust says food parcel numbers hit new high
The number of emergency food parcels handed out by food banks in Scotland hit a record high last year, according to new statistics.The Trussell Trust says its food banks provided more than 145,000 packages to people in crisis in 2016-17.
It marks a 9% increase on the previous year – a trend the charity blamed on benefit payment problems and low incomes.
The UK government said the reasons for food bank use were “complex”.
“It’s misleading to link them to any one issue,” a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) added.
The new report by The Trussell Trust examines the activity of its network of 52 food banks north of the border.
It reveals that 47,955 children in Scotland were among those it helped with three-day emergency food supplies last year.
And it found that low income was the single biggest reason for referral to a Scottish food bank – affecting a quarter of those referred.
Problems with benefits were also a major factor.
Around 24% of those referred to the charity had suffered benefit delays, while 18% encountered difficulties with benefit changes.
But its own statistics also reveal that the growth of food banks has slowed since 2014/15, when food bank use increased by two-thirds in 12 months.