Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, visited an Edinburgh foodbank on Tuesday 17 December. He condemned the sharp rise in the use of foodbanks as highlighted in a Scottish Government report today as "absolutely unacceptable".
Ewan Gurr, Scotland Development Officer, The Trussell Trust said: "The Trussell Trust welcomes the Scottish Government's willingness to research the growing issue of food poverty in Scotland. Good policy that prioritises support for those in greatest need can only be achieved by knowing the true scale of the issue and what the underlying causes are. In Scotland, the number of Foodbanks operating as part of The Trussell Trust has grown from one to 43 in little more than two years and we have seen five times the number of people using Scottish Foodbanks than we did this time last year. The number of men, women and children living on a financial knife-edge due to a lethal cocktail of rising living costs, welfare reform and minimal employment opportunities is unacceptable and it for these reasons that we welcome any effort to focus on the issue of hidden hunger and seek creative solutions." Scottish Government research into the provision of emergency food aid had found that all of the providers interviewed had experienced an increase in demand. Mr Salmond also called on the UK Government to publish its delayed research into the growth of food banks. Ewan jointly presented a workshop with CR&DALL on the topic of food security at the EcCoWell Conference last month.