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Citizens Advice Scotland response to Ending the Need for Food Banks: Consultation on a Draft National Plan

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is supportive of the proposed approach to ending poverty and the need for food banks. The twin emphasis on prevention and response ensures the reasons for food bank use are tackled at source, rather than focusing only on how emergency support is delivered, and overall CAS would agree that moving towards a cash-first approach to food aid is a positive step. Measures which enable people to choose their own food can restore dignity in emergency food provision, enable people to buy food they enjoy and choose the items that will make the most difference to themselves and their families.

However, there are additional dimensions to the need for food banks that CAS would call for further consideration of. These include:

›     The role of advice services in food bank referrals

›     Availability of social security support for different types of people

›     Debt as a driving factor in food bank use

›     Fuel poverty as a driving factor in food bank use

›     Housing costs as a driving factor for food bank use

›     Potential barriers to a cash-first scheme

CAS suggests six areas where further action could be taken to reduce the need for food banks:

›     Reducing the cost of living

›     Increasing social security support and benefit take-up

›     Encouraging fair work

›     Improving debt solutions and debt recovery

›     Making the Scottish Welfare Fund more accessible

›     Integrating advice services into Cash-First Partnerships

Laura Toffolo, David Scott
Publication date
January 2022
Publication type