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Voices from the Frontline: Food parcels and the benefits system

Our series of briefings ‘Voices from the Frontline’ show the reality of the impact of current welfare changes on the people of Scotland. We highlight the experiences of the thousands of clients advised by CAB in Scotland and make recommendations for change.

This briefing looks at whether benefit changes are a factor in the growing need for food parcels seen at bureaux. Statistics show that in January to March 2014, bureaux recorded 1 food bank issue for every 50 clients that sought advice. Case evidence from bureaux shows that a range of issues in the benefits system, including payment delays, sanctions and benefit reassessments, play a role in causing clients to require a food parcel. This briefing outline the experiences of clients who have needed a food parcel after a problem with the benefits system.

The immediacy and severity of the situation facing many clients who seek advice is putting significant pressure on bureaux and their volunteers. Bureaux across the country have had to urgently amend their advice provision and make vital links with local sources of free food in order to meet the immediate needs of clients who cannot afford to eat.


Keith Dryburgh
Publication date
April 2014
Publication type
Number of pages