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Making the right to food a reality

Published: 17 Nov 2016 09:30

Response to recommendations by independent working group on food poverty.

A right to food being enshrined in Scots Law is under consideration by Equalities Secretary Angela Constance, it was announced today.

It is just one of a number of recommendations being examined by the Scottish Government following the publication of the Independent Working Group on Food Poverty report Dignity: Ending Hunger Together in Scotland.

Ms Constance will make the commitment when she speaks at the Interfaith Food Justice Network tonight (Thursday). She is expected to say:

“We have been very clear – no-one should have to rely on emergency food provision in a country as prosperous as Scotland.

“As the report from the Working Group highlighted, food poverty is a symptom of wider poverty and the UK Government’s harmful welfare cuts and benefit sanctions regime has clearly pushed more and more people into an income crisis, increasing the demand for emergency food.

“We want to create a sustainable solution to tackling food poverty across Scotland, and therefore I am committed to exploring a range of options, including looking into potentially enshrining the right to food into Scots Law.

“We will continue to work closely with individual projects to help them develop sustainable solutions to tackle food poverty. This means not only giving people opportunities to access fresh and healthy food, but to share a meal in the community and develop new skills, helping achieve a longer-term solution to food poverty.”

The Independent Working Group has outlined a number of other recommendations including introducing a system to measure food insecurity in Scotland alongside wider measures of poverty, and continuing to make strong representation to the UK Government to help reduce the risk of sanctions, maladministration and delay in the UK benefits system.

The Scottish Government’s response to the Short-Life Working Group on Food Poverty Report can be found at: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/scottish-government-response-working-group-food-poverty/