Skip to navigation Skip to content turn2us logoTurn2us - to access benefits & grants.
Search this site

You are here:

Thousands of people in Scotland relying on food handouts - Turn2us

Citizens Advice Scotland report on the rising demand for food parcels (link opens in a new window)Thousands of people in Scotland are being forced to rely on charities for food handouts, according to a new report by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS). 

This shows that:

  • The numbers of Scottish Citizens Advice bureaux clients who have made a charitable application has doubled over the last 2 years to 2,200
  • Charities who provide emergency food parcels have themselves reported significant increases in clients. For example, the Trussell Trust (link opens in a new window) alone gave out food parcels to over 128,000 people (UK-wide) in 2011/12 – that’s more than double the number in the previous year
  • Most of those who need these services are low-income families who are experiencing some sort of crisis point, whether it is unemployment or losing benefit entitlement
  • Evidence suggests that the impact of the welfare changes will make the situation even worse over the next few years.

Citizens Advice Scotland's Chief Executive's comment

CAS Chief Executive Margaret Lynch says,“The report reveals a Dickensian situation facing many of Scotland’s low paid workers and people who rely on welfare benefits.

“Charities like the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul have always been there to provide practical assistance for families facing a crisis who temporarily could not feed themselves. In this recession, there has been an exponential increase in the number of working families and people on benefits who are needing help to feed their children and themselves.

“The National Minimum Wage has failed to keep pace with the massive increase in food prices over the last five years leaving many low income families facing food insecurity. The fact that 50% of those getting food parcels are working is shocking.

“The fact that the remaining 50% who rely on food parcels do so because their benefit payments are delayed or because of changes to their benefits entitlement is both avoidable and disgraceful.

“Sadly this indignity is about to be inflicted on many more of our fellow Scots as welfare changes begin to bite.  The welfare state was set up to provide a safety net from cradle to grave. The safety net has been withdrawn, and the task of feeding the poor once more falls to the Churches and charitable organisations whose philanthropy once helped to feed the poor of the industrial revolution.”

Read the Citizens Advice Scotland report on the rising demand for food parcels (link opens in a new window)

Turn2us resources

If you are struggling to make ends meet, you can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to welfare benefits and the Turn2us Grants Search Database to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund. See also the Turn2us Information and Resources section for more information on benefits, grants and managing money.

Facebook (opens in a new window) Twitter (opens in a new window) YouTube (opens in a new window) Nominet Award - Doing Good Online Highly Commended