‘The disgrace, the scandal’ 800 Dundee children use foodbanks

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More than 800 children turned up at foodbanks in Dundee in just six months this year.

Shock figures released by the Trussell Trust show an 18% increase in the number of under-16s who say they cannot afford to eat in the city compared to the same period last year.

Between April and September 2014, 835 youngsters asked for help. That figure was 709 over the corresponding six months in 2013.

Trussell Trust Scotland network manager, Ewan Gurr, said: “Food poverty is the enemy, the disgrace, the scandal, and foodbanks are trying to provide an answer that.

“We must accept that the rising need for emergency food in Scotland is unacceptable and the long-term reduction of food poverty must be a priority for policy makers across the political spectrum.

“As the general election approaches, we are urging politicians across all parties to engage with us regarding ways in which we can work together to help address this key issue,” he said.

Overall, the number of people who turned up to Trussell Trust foodbanks in the city increased by 19% year-on-year, from 2,822 to 3,371.

The revelations come after The Courier revealed almost one in five people using foodbanks need the service because they say their wages are not enough to cover the bills.

The Trussell Trust say 71,428 people, 49,041 adults and 22,387 children, received a three-day supply of emergency food from foodbanks in Scotland between April 1 last year and March 31 this year a 400% increase on the previous financial year.

Between 2011 and 2013, Scotland experienced faster growth in the number of foodbanks launching with The Trussell Trust than any other region in the United Kingdom, the charity says.

In 2011, there was one foodbank in Scotland operating in partnership with the charity.

As of November 2014, there are 48 Trussell Trust foodbanks in 27 Scottish local authorities.

Last December, 9,263 men, women and children used a Scottish foodbank, which was 45% higher than the previous month.

There are fears that the number will be even higher this year as a number of Trussell Trust foodbanks prepare to open their doors on Christmas Day to families who are relying on their support.

The charity is also developing a “More Than Food” approach to help more people break out of financial crisis long term, and is currently participating in a joint initiative along with Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis.