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Tackling food poverty

Published: 10 Mar 2016 10:00

£1 million to support those most in need.

Funding to help tackle food poverty in communities across Scotland will be doubled in 2016/17 Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has announced.

The £1 million Fair Food Fund will help emergency food providers link with other local providers to deliver services that give people opportunities to access fresh and healthy food, share a meal, or develop new skills.

Funding will also go to innovative community projects that are helping people access affordable food, like Centrestage Communities in Ayrshire. The £1 million will also support FareShare which redistributes surplus food to projects and charities

Announcing the funding on a visit to Canongate Youth's Old School Café project in Edinburgh which trains young people to prepare healthy food as well as building their confidence and employability, Mr Neil said:

"We are doubling our funding to tackle food poverty because it is unacceptable that anyone should be embarrassed or struggling in silence to feed themselves and their families in a country as prosperous as Scotland.

"This £1 million investment will be directed at projects that aim to address the deep-rooted causes of food poverty and not just the symptoms.

"Our new Fair Food Fund will tackle food inequalities in a more dignified and sustainable way and make sure people are given the support they need to find a route out of relying on foodbanks.

"In the face of UK Government cuts and household budgets being tightened we will continue to support foodbanks. This investment will allow foodbanks to link more effectively with other support services and equip people with the skills they need to face these challenges. Many peoplealso benefit from the social side of these services by meeting new people and learning about other cultures.

"Our funding will also help more established projects such as FareShare continue to feed more than 15,500 people every week in a way that cuts down food waste."

Edinburgh Community Food helps tackle health inequalities through cooking and nutrition courses, training and health information sessions and supports the Edinburgh Community Cafés Network, of which the Old School Café is a member.

Edinburgh Community Food's Chief Executive Iain Stewart said:

"As an organisation that develops access to affordable healthy food and supports people to learn how to cook and eat healthily on a tight budget we are delighted to hear this announcement which will help organisations across Scotland to help people who most need it.

"We want to see a reduction in food inequalities and the use of foodbanks. It is therefore good to see that some of this funding will go to community projects that are providing opportunities for people to access affordable food or to learn new skills such as cooking. By supporting people through community projects we can tackle inequalities in food access and can reduce the reliance on foodbanks in the future."