Category Archive

The latest updates from the #EndHungerUK team

New research reveals number of food bank parcels given out in Scotland almost double previously known figure

March 28, 2019

Sabine Goodwin

Sabine Goodwin of End Hunger UK partner Independent Food Aid Network tells us more about her research with independent food banks in Scotland alongside A Menu for Change…

 

We’ve known that emergency food parcel distribution has been growing year on year in Scotland because of the invaluable research of our EHUK colleagues the Trussell Trust. But there’s been a large missing piece to the jigsaw – how much support has been given out to adults and children by independent food banks? Thanks to our partnership with A Menu for Change, I’ve been able to find out more.

I’d already mapped 94 independent food banks operating across Scotland from April 2017 to September 2018 so I set about asking their managers and volunteer teams for any data they’d collected during that time. With increasing demand for emergency food supplies, these grassroots organisations are firefighting on a daily basis but their representatives were determined to help with our data collation. They knew that their work was unheard of and that we couldn’t understand the true scale of food bank use in Scotland without their input.

By now I’ve been able to count the number of food parcels that 84 of those 94 independent food banks gave out during that same 18-month period – April 2017 to September 2018. The results are shocking. Independent food banks, operating in 18 Scottish local authorities, distributed no less than 221,977 emergency food parcels. Added to the Trussell Trust’s distribution of 258,606 parcels, that makes a total of nearly half a million parcels given out by Scottish food banks.

As Evan Adamson of Instant Neighbour in Aberdeen said: “It’s truly staggering to think about how many people in our community and across Scotland are relying on emergency food aid.”

And this disaster on our doorstep is certainly greater than our figures reveal. We know that our statistics don’t include the emergency meals and other forms of food aid provided by countless independent organisations across Scotland, nor the people who don’t access food aid at all and try and find other ways to cope.

It doesn’t take much analysis to understand that with at least 709 more independent food banks operating in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the contribution of independent food banks represents a large missing piece of the UK charitable food aid picture.

And now we know much more about the scale of emergency food parcel provision in Scotland what can be done?

As Mary McGinley, Chair of Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank in Argyll and Bute put it: “We are deeply dismayed by the rising demand for emergency food aid we’re seeing locally. We don’t want to be here; we would much rather see our political leaders address the causes of food insecurity through the introduction of the living wage, a better social security system and easier access to emergency welfare payments to allow people to buy their own food.”

We hope that the Scottish and UK Governments will take notice of this data and act urgently to address food insecurity. In Scotland,  A Menu for Change is using these shocking new figures to urge the Scottish Government to bring in a promised income supplement for Scotland’s poorest families as soon as possible.

Further details of our research can be found here

 
Sabine Goodwin is the Coordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network and led the research in Scotland with A Menu for Change. She would like to express her gratitude to the many independent food banks across Scotland contributing data and time to this project.  http://www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk/food-bank-data-in-scotland

 

 

 

Universal Credit claimants take national petition to Downing Street, as thousands more go hungry

November 7, 2018

Read the text of the press release we have sent out ahead of the hand-in of our national petition calling on the UK government to Fix Universal Credit, at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday. 

(more…)

A growing movement? End Hunger UK conference 2018

November 1, 2018

Charlie Spring

On World Food Day, October 16th 2018, the End Hunger UK campaign convened its second annual conference in Westminster to discuss the growing movement around household food insecurity in the UK. Charlie Spring of Sheffield University reports…

(more…)

Universal Credit: six claimants show just why and how it must be fixed

October 13, 2018

Start End Hunger Week by listening to these powerful stories (more…)

New stats show 1 in 10 in Scotland in food poverty

September 28, 2018

Nearly one in ten people in Scotland are Food Insecure

The figures released this week as part of the Scottish Health Survey help shed some light on the scale of food insecurity in Scotland. Imogen Richmond-Bishop from Sustain discusses why this shows we need routine food insecurity measurement across the U.K.

(more…)

Creating long-term, long-lasting change

August 20, 2018

The Trussell Trust runs the UK’s largest network of foodbanks. However, they believe that hunger can’t be left to volunteers to solve. Tom Say, the Trussell Trust’s new campaign manager, explains why they are supporting End Hunger UK’s call for a reformed welfare system.

(more…)

Ciaran’s story: Universal Credit in Huddersfield

August 15, 2018

As part of our campaign to Fix Universal Credit, End Hunger is gathering stories from around the country of how the roll-out is affecting people. Ciaran’s story from the frontline at Huddersfield Welcome Centre shows the impact of delays and low benefits.
To help Fix Universal Credit, you can sign or download our petition here.

(more…)

Failures in Universal Credit leave families going without

August 10, 2018

End Hunger UK launched our petition to Fix Universal Credit because of failings in the detail of the policy. This week, Child Poverty Action Group released a report on why the monthly assessment period leads to people losing support through no fault of their own. Lizzie Flew explains.

(more…)

Local welfare schemes are failing people in crisis

May 31, 2018

Crisis support schemes run by local authorities are failing to operate effectively with increasing numbers of destitute people turning instead to food banks and other voluntary agencies for help, according to a new report published by The Children’s Society and the Church of England, an End Hunger UK Partner. Tom Sefton from the Church of England, one of the report’s co-authors, writes more.

(more…)

Emergency food providers – what do you really think of Universal Credit?

April 6, 2018

Many of End Hunger’s members and supporters work for emergency food providers including pantries, kitchens and foodbanks. One of the founding principles of our campaign was that we aim to represent the voice of those who work to end hunger. As part of that we are trying to find out what you think about Universal Credit for our next campaign. End Hunger UK Campaign Manager Rachel Alcock writes about the survey we are launching.

(more…)