Food parcel numbers double in two years

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The number of people turning to charities for help with food and other essentials has doubled in two years, a new report revealed today.

Citizens Advice Scotland said some people on low pay or benefits faced a “Dickensian situation”,

Last year staff at Citizens Advice Bureaux helped people make around 2200 applications for charitable support, twice as many as in 2009-10. Benefit changes and problems with payments were identified as the most important factors behind the increase.

CAS chief executive Margaret Lynch said: “In this recession there has been an exponential increase in the number of working families and people on benefits who are needing help to feed their children and themselves.

“The national minimum wage has failed to keep pace with the massive increase in food prices over the last five years.

“The fact that 50 per cent of those getting food parcels are working is shocking. The fact the remaining 50 per cent who rely on food parcels do so because their benefit payments are delayed or because of changes to their entitlement is both avoidable and disgraceful.”