Food Bank Advice in Scotland Rises by More Than 10% Amid Cost-of-Living Crisis
TEHRAN (FNA)- More struggling Scots are looking for advice on how to access food banks amid the cost-of-living crisis.
The increase of food bank support advice had risen by 11% from the year 2021/22, with the sharp rise seeing people visit pages with food bank advice on it, says Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), Glasgow Times reported.
The sharp rise has been attributed to a “direct link” between higher energy prices and food inflation in the country, with many people looking to save money in every way they can.
Food bank usage in Scotland has been on the rise with the Trussell Trust reporting that in the year 2021/2022 Scottish food banks distributed just under 200,000 food parcels.
The charity's April 2023 data report also found that utilities advice increased by 13% in the past year, finance and charitable support advice by 16%, and housing advice by 11%.
David Hilferty, CAS social justice spokesperson, said, “Our April data shows the impact the cost-of-living crisis has had in the past year, with advice around utilities, housing and food insecurity all up significantly."
“It is essential that policymakers don’t view headlines about inflation and the energy price cap falling and think that this crisis is over," he added.
“Many people will have been forced into debt during this crisis and are now trapped in a vicious cycle – their incomes couldn’t match the cost of their bills so they went into debt to pay the essentials and now their income is reduced further by debt repayments,” he said.
And David also revealed that due to a longer and colder winter, the circumstances would have pushed people to their limits on finances as he proposes three policies for the Government to introduce to help curb the demand.
He said, “April saw inflation-linked increases to social security finally kick in, meanwhile we saw the first of the Government’s cost-of-living payments delivered to people at the end of the month."
“But that was after a long cold winter where many people’s financial resilience had been almost wiped out," he added.
“[The Government should] increase the value of social security, [have] a social tariff in the energy market for those on low incomes, and better funding for advice services like CABs that help people with energy and financial problems," Hilferty said.
“CABs deliver real results for people, with the average financial gain for those who saw one after seeking advice last year being £4200,” he added.