Today, for the first time ever, the Scottish Government has published statistics on household food insecurity as part of the Scottish Health Survey.
Responding to the figures, Dr Mary Anne MacLeod, Policy Officer at A Menu for Change, said: “These statistics paint a grim picture of hunger across the country. Given Scotland isn’t facing a food shortage, this is clearly a problem of widespread poverty.
“The figures show 16-44 year olds are most likely to be going hungry. We know low wages, zero hour contracts, frozen benefit levels and the introduction of Universal Credit are pushing more and more people to the brink. When so many people are struggling to make ends meet you know something has gone badly wrong with the system.
“That’s why our political leaders must urgently fix the system: in our rich country no one should be constantly worrying about how they’re going to feed their kids. We can do better than that. Everyone should be able to access the money they need to put food on the table.”
Kerry* from East Ayrshire is just one person who told A Menu for Change about her struggle to feed herself and her family. She said: “Obviously, my main priority’s making sure my kids are fed. And if it’s the difference between me getting fed or them getting fed, then it’s them obviously.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS
- *name has been changed.
- A Menu for Change is a partnership project run by Child Poverty Action Group Scotland, Nourish Scotland, Oxfam Scotland and the Poverty Alliance. It aims to reduce the need for food banks.