Thousands referred to foodbank in last quarter

Overall the number of food bank referrals in Scotland has increased to over 60,000 in the last quarter.
Overall the number of food bank referrals in Scotland has increased to over 60,000 in the last quarter.

Almost 1200 referrals were made to food banks in Aberdeenshire in the last three months according to Trussell Trust figures.

The figures were met with alarm by local MSPs this week who have called for more to be done.

Between April and September this year, there was a total of 1155 referrals in Aberdeenshire, these included 414 referrals for children.

In Aberdeen 1535 referrals were made (560 of those children). Benefit delays and changes remain the biggest cause of foodbank use accounting for 43 percent of total referrals in the UK.

Maureen Watt, SNP MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, has expressed alarm at the latest Trussell Trust figures on emergency food aid.

She said: “These figures are alarming – they represent 1535 occasions where people in Aberdeen and 1155 people in Aberdeenshire were in such dire straits that they could not afford to eat.

“The figures also show that UK Government benefit changes and delays continue to be the most common reason for people seeking emergency food aid. While Tory ministers have their head in the sand on the issue, the Scottish Government recognises this link and is spending almost £300 million over three years to mitigate Tory social security cuts.

“That any government would consider further cuts to the incomes of the poorest families in our society in the face of such clear evidence of rising poverty is appalling – yet George Osborne is set to plough ahead with £12 billion more social security cuts.

“These new figures will put further pressure on George Osborne to scrap his planned cuts to Tax Credits – we will not let up on our opposition to these callous cuts. And if they do go ahead we stand ready to protect low income households in Scotland.”

Overall the number of food bank referrals in Scotland has increased to over 60,000 in the last quarter.