The Poverty and Inequality Commission has published a report on local action to tackle food insecurity in Scotland during COVID-19, after the recent consultation period.
The consultation, carried out by the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit (SPIRU), involved a variety of community groups, organisations and projects across Scotland, with commissioners speaking to workers and volunteers regarding emergency food provision activities.
The report highlights what is currently working in emergency food provision, the role of local authorities, and that this provision takes many forms, with food often sourced from multiple sources. Also included are worries from these groups that they are not able to reach everyone in need, and their concerns about what happens next.
The Commission expressly states in its response that, “it is clear that the role played by community organisations in helping people weather the storm is vital”, and that they are deeply impressed with the tremendous community response that is ensuring that families and individuals continue to be able to access food.
However, they note that it is evident there are still huge challenges: “Community organisations report that demand for emergency food aid has been rising over the past month and they expect it to continue to do so. This is attributed to more local people who were already feeling the constant pressure of poverty becoming aware of the help offered and more people being newly swept into poverty.” Their recommendations include more visible leadership around emergency food provision, and continuity of funding.
To view or download the SPIRU report, and the Commission’s response and recommendations, please visit the Commission website.