Charities react to Scottish government plans to end need for food banks

Charities have responded to a Scottish government consultation around its plans to end a reliance on food banks for those living in poverty.

Instead of relying on food banks as the primary response to food insecurity the Scottish government wants to bring in measures to tackle poverty.

A consultation around the plans closes this week. This outlines plans including a minimum income guarantee for families and enshrining a right to food in law.

Among charities to respond is the Everyone Home collective, of 36 charities formed during the pandemic.

In its response the charities say that “local communities are best able to determine whether this type of service is needed in their area and can coproduce its development and monitor its impact”.

They also note the “positive benefits” of services food banks offer through sharing food among people “who also seek social interaction”.

Among charities involved in the Everyone Home collective is Move On, which “welcomes the Scottish Government’s consultation on the draft national plan for ending the need for food banks, according to the charity’s executive director John Hinton.

“We are pleased to add our voice to the calls to ensure that whatever arrangements relace food banks meets the needs of people affected by homelessness and destitution.”

The Scottish government’s proposals include a strong focus on working with funders and food bank charities.

This includes working with the CORRA Foundation, Robertson Trust and the National Lottery Community Fund to develop a national plan of action.

“This will draw on the learning and experience of established organisations as well as those that have recently established or pivoted towards food aid responses since the onset of the pandemic,” states the consultation.

It also aims to work with the Trussell Trust and Independent Food Aid Network “to support their food bank transition and exit strategies”.

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