Rise in food bank use in Aberdeenshire
More people are relying on food banks in Aberdeenshire than they were before the pandemic, new figures from the Trussell Trust show.
The charity said it is not right that so many people across the UK are facing destitution and warned the need for food banks will rise over the winter.
In Aberdeenshire, 3,511 emergency food parcels – containing three or seven days' worth of supplies – were handed out by the Trussell Trust between April and September.
This was up from 2,664 during the same period in 2019, but below the 4,363 handed out last year.
They were among 935,749 parcels handed out by the charity across the UK over the six-month period, including 84,555 in Scotland.
Though below the record 1.3 million dispensed during this period last year, it was 11% more than in 2019.
This means around 5,100 emergency food parcels were provided for people across the UK every day, including almost 2,000 for children.
The Trussell Trust said it expects this to rise to more than 7,000 a day in December, as poorer families struggle with rising fuel costs, inflation and the recent removal of the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift.
The figures do not include the number of people helped by thousands of other groups providing food aid such as community organisations and independent food banks.
The Trussell Trust’s chief executive Emma Revie says we all need the security and stability of a lifeline to support us whenever we need it and is calling on the UK government to urgently strengthen the social security system.
She is also urging the public to donate vital funds to help fight hunger this winter and support the Trussell Trust’s campaign for change to help end the need for food banks.
Emma Revie said: “Everyone in the UK should be able to afford the essentials – to buy their own food and heat their homes.
"Yet food banks in our network continue to see more and more people facing destitution with an increase in food parcels going to children.
"This is not right.
“Our food bank managers expect need to grow further still, saying they will need to provide more than 7,000 food parcels a day during December, as many families are faced with an even tougher winter ahead. This must stop.
“The answer must be for us to have the stability of a strong enough social security system to protect any one of us when we need it.”
She added: "We need government at all levels to take action and are asking the public to help fight hunger this winter and join the campaign to fight for a future without the need for food banks.”
More than 350,000 parcels went to children between April and September this year – 15 per cent more than in 2019.
In Aberdeenshire, 1,154 were handed to youngsters, compared to 1,505 last year.
Find out more about the the Trussell Trust’s Winter Appeal at trusselltrust.org/impossible-decisions