The number of emergency parcels handed out by food banks in Scotland rose by nearly a quarter over the last year, according to the UK’s largest food bank provider.
The Trussell Trust said its food banks provided more than 210,000 packages to people in crisis in 2018-19 – up 23% from the previous year. In East Renfrewshire, 4,228 three day emergency food supplies were provided to people in crisis by food banks, while 10,178 were delivered in Renfrewshire.
The food bank provider said that issues with the UK Governments flagship welfare reform Universal Credit were a “key driver” of increasing food poverty.
Tom Arthur, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire South, said: “The botched roll-out of Universal Credit has been a disaster – driving people into poverty, and forcing families to rely on food banks.
“In a country as wealthy as ours it’s unacceptable that emergency parcels and food banks have become so commonplace – and we know, beyond any doubt, that Tory policies are to blame.
“The SNP has long made the case for a halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit but those pleas fell on deaf ears. It is unacceptable for the UK government to keep side-lining this issue while families go hungry.
“The disastrous Tory record on welfare shows why Scotland should have the power to take our own approach – rather than leaving these powers at Westminster.”