The Herald Letters 28th March 2018

In response to Food banks must signal a new fight against poverty, The Herald March 26

Sir or Madam

While it is encouraging that people using food banks report being treated with care and respect by the army of volunteers who run Scotland’s 200 food banks, (Food banks must signal a new fight against poverty, The Herald, March 26) we know that emergency food aid cannot solve the underlying causes of poverty which stop people being able to feed themselves and their families. If it did, no-one would need to go back.
Urgent action is needed by local, Scottish and UK governments, and employers, to ensure that everyone has enough money to afford to buy food. It is clear from our ongoing research that people need access to secure and better paid work and a safety net that makes sure no one falls through the gaps.
Our safety net is failing too many people because it is not well resourced or co-ordinated, and often leaves people feeling un-supported and negatively judged.
The UK government needs to act urgently to end the benefit freeze and rethink welfare reforms that are leaving so many reliant on charity hand outs. But Scotland’s new social security powers give our leaders a crucial opportunity to design and invest in a system that treats everyone with care and respect.
Politicians at every level must act now to ensure that food banks don’t become a permanent feature of our society.

Polly Jones
Project Manager
A Menu for Change