By Lucy Ashton
Scottish Labour has today accused the SNP government of reneging on its commitment to tackle the ‘national disgrace’ of food poverty.
The party’s intervention comes along with the revelation that two years on from the SNP launching the ‘National plan to end need for food banks’ consultation, food bank usage has hit an all time high.
In 2021, the government consultation to tackle food poverty, including an admission by Shona Robison that food banks are ‘not a long term solution to poverty.’
Despite the consultation closing in January 2022, an analysis of the response was only published in December, and 20 months on from the launch of the consultation, the Scottish Government have failed to publish any form of final plan or strategy.
The Trussell Trust this week reported that nearly 300,000 food parcels had been distributed in Scotland from April 2022 to March 2023 – a record high.
This amounts to a momentous increase of 30% on the previous year and a 50% increase in just five years.
Of those using Trussell Trust food banks, a shocking 62,000 people were using them for the first time in the last 12 months.
Food insecurity is a worry for many Scots who are increasingly sacrificing healthy eating and living to make it to the end of the month.
Scottish Labour Social Security spokesperson Paul O’Kane, left, said: “In 2021, the SNP made tackling food poverty a defining mission of their government, but 2 years on this issue is only getting worse.
“Across the country, Scots are struggling to cope with skyrocketing food prices and the government is not doing enough to help them.
“Food bank usage is at record high, but we all know this is not a long-term solution to the struggles Scots are facing.
“While the SNP turn on themselves, Scots are going hungry – this is a national disgrace.
“It is not right that we are becoming increasingly reliant on charities to plug the gaps of SNP failure.
“The government must outline their plan to tackle food poverty and reduce the reliance on food banks as this crisis continues.”