Lothian Labour MSP says 2021 can be the last year people have to go hungry in Scotland - if there is the political will

Lothian Labour MSP Foysol Choudhury says if Scotland has the political will it can make 2021 the last year when people have to go hungry.

By Ian Swanson
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 4:55 am

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He called on parliamentarians to support a member’s bill being proposed by fellow Labour MSP Rhoda Grant in the Scottish Parliament which would enshrine the right to food in Scots law.

Latest statistics show nearly 9,000 food parcels were handed out to people in Edinburgh by foodbank network the Trussell Trust between April 1 and September 30 this year, the second highest number for any council area in Scotland.

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Lothian Labour MSP Foysol Choudhury

The trust said it had distributed 6,026 parcels to adults in the Capital and 2,948 to children, a total of 8,974. Across Scotland it gave out 84,555 parcels. The highest number was in Glasgow, where 14,237 parcels were distributed.

Mr Choudhury said food poverty in Edinburgh was at unacceptable levels and warned the UK Tory government’s cut to Universal Credit would push more families across Scotland further and further into poverty.He said: “There is no reason at all why anyone should be going hungry in a wealthy nation like Scotland.

“The evidence is clear – thousands of Scots are in food poverty and many more are being put at risk due to Tory cuts.

“These appalling figures show how many families in Edinburgh are relying on food banks to get by.

“We simply cannot stand back and allow this situation to continue.

“If we have the political will we can end food poverty in Scotland by enshrining it as a human right in Scots law.

“This will send a powerful message to the country that we are serious about tackling the scourge of food poverty and force us into action.

“Let’s make this a reality, so no-one in Edinburgh has to go hungry next Christmas.”

A consultation o the proposed member’s bill on the right to food was launched in Novemer.

Rhoda Grant said at the time her proposed legislation, enshrining the right to food in Scots law, would tackle the "national scandal" of food poverty.

The Right to Food (Scotland) Bill was originally proposed by the then Labour MSP Elaine Smith in the previous session of the Scottish Parliament but there was no time for it to be debated before the election.

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