Struggling families turn to charities

A NUMBER of people are turning to charities to help them feed their families as they struggle financially, according to an investigation.

Breadline Scotland, to be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland on Sunday, found that many people are relying on food banks and charity kitchens as prices rise.

According to the Office for National Statistics, food and soft drink prices rose by 4.6 per cent in the year to March, but for many people benefits and wages are not going up, leaving less money for food.

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The Trussell Trust, which runs the UK’s only network of food banks, fed nearly 129,000 people last year, including 6,000 people in Scotland.

The Salvation Army in Scotland also says it has seen an increase in people, particularly pensioners, approaching them for food.

Captain Steven Turner said: “The most recent thing, and it’s very unusual in my 15 years of experience, is that actually we’ve had requests from older people on pensions who are just beginning to struggle with day to day living.

“That is unusual because they tend to be proud and very reluctant to ask for help, so if they are asking they are probably in serious financial difficulty.”

Food banks give people an emergency supply of dried and tinned food which should last them for at least three days when they have nowhere else to go.

Last year in Scotland the Trussell Trust fed 2,400 people in Dundee, 3,362 in the Highlands and 375 people at its centre in Glasgow, which opened in December.