Sad as it may be, huge stigma still exists around poverty in Scotland.
The uncomfortable truth is there are many people in society living on or below the breadline and whose daily lives are motivated by making ends meet.
For those struggling to put a meal on the table, Scotland’s networks of foodbanks have, quite literally, been a lifeline.
That such organisations are required in a supposedly modern, progressive Scotland is not just an embarrassment.
It is a failure of political will and, frankly, nothing short of a national disgrace.
But, thanks to the twin impacts of Covid and Brexit, the need for foodbanks is enormous and growing and there are many who would struggle to get through the week without their support.
So it is imperative that where help is offered it is able to be taken up without embarrassment or snide comments.
Perth foodbank wants awareness training
An incident at a major supermarket in Perth in which a service user was questioned about how they had come to be in possession of food vouchers shows there is a long way to go in that regard.
The shopper was left feeling ashamed and upset by the experience.
The only shameful thing was the treatment received.
Really disappointed @AldiUK employees questioning our clients about where they are getting Aldi vouchers from and why they have them. As if using a food bank was demoralising enough. @AldiUK maybe some awareness training for you staff would be good? #cashfirst #benice
— Broke Not Broken (@broke_not) September 15, 2021
The foodbank operator has suggested awareness training for the supermarket’s staff.
That is the very least the public have the right to expect.
Where stigma exists in life it must be challenged and set aside.
No one is immune to finding themselves in difficult circumstances. Financial hardship, health and mental challenges or other issues might be in any of our futures.
We would all do well to remember that and to treat people with