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

Lothian Labour MSP Foysol Choudury 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 is calling on parliamentarians to support a member's bill being proposed in the Scottish Parliament by fellow Labour MSP Rhoda Grant, which would enshrine the right to food in Scots law.

Latest statistics from foodbank network the Trussell Trust show it handed out nearly 9,000 food parcels in the Capital in the six months between April 1 and September 30 this year. It sad it had distributed 6,026 parels to adults in Edinburgh and another 2,948 to children, a total of 8,974. Only Glasgow saw a higher number with 14,237 parcels distributed. Across Scotland the trust gave out a total of 84,555 food parcels during the six-month period.

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Lothian Labour MSP Foysol Choudhury

Mr Choudhury said food poverty in Edinburgh was at unacceptable levels.

And he said the UK Tory government's cut to Universal Credit would push 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 the City of 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.”

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In November Rhoda Grant launched a consultation on her proposed legislation enshrining the right to food in Scots law.

She said at the time it was “a national scandal” that food poverty remained rife in a country as rich as Scotland.

The Right To Food (Scotland) Bill was originally proposed by 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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