Given that hunger is now accepted as a permanent part of Scottish life then we should radically rethink the whole concept of feeding people by means of food banks.
While food banks have done a good job, they have limitations in that they do not provide any hot, nutritious meals as all their food comes in tinned or packaged form and needs to be cooked at home, often by people who have no gas or electric supply.
We should look to the 1930s for inspiration and bring in the modern equivalent of soup kitchens. To do this we should utilise the taxpayer-funded kitchens found in hundreds of Scotland’s schools to feed the hungry.
Local authorities should be forced to open up their school kitchens so that food banks can provide cooked, healthy, nutritious meals to Scotland’s hungry.
An added bonus is that benefit and energy advisers could be on hand to give relevant advice.
It is a scandal that school kitchens sit unused in the evenings, at weekends, and for several months a year, when they could be cooking hot food to feed the hungry.