Rise in number of Scots borrowing to buy food

Food bank use in Scotland is rising
Food bank use in Scotland is rising
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The number of Scots forced to borrow money to pay for food has risen sharply over the past six months as cost of living worries escalate despite signs of an economic upturn.

More than 800,000 people in Scotland borrowed money to cover their food costs last month, an alarming rise of a quarter of a million since July 2013, according to a study by Debt Advisory Centre Scotland.

The fee-charging debt advice provider found that almost 16 per cent of adult Scots had asked friends or family for cash to pay for groceries in the previous month, up from just 10 per cent last summer.

The figure across the UK has hit 18.7 per cent of adults, representing more than nine million people and showing a threefold increase in less than a year.

Ian Williams, spokesman for Debt Advisory Centre Scotland, said: “It’s a real concern that so many people in Scotland are struggling to pay for something as essential as groceries. What’s even more worrying is that this figure has climbed so steeply in just eight months.

“Food is a necessity that every household requires, and borrowing to pay for it could be a sign of a serious financial problem.”