Food banks do a “valuable job” says MP after numbers using them soar

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The increase in the number of people using food banks, has prompted an Angus MP to call on the UK government to “wake up to the cost of living crisis”.

Mike Weir, who represents the county in Westminster, was responding to the news from Trussell Trust, that 23,000 Scots have had to rely food banks in the past year. He said: “The rise in the numbers seeking help from Food Banks is shocking. That this situation should be happening in a highly developed country is a terrible indictment of the policies being pursued by Westminster.

“These figures produced by the Trussell Trust, which runs 400 food banks across the UK, are alarming. The Trust have said a third of those being helped were children, and the problem was so severe that some people using food banks have started to hand back items that need cooking, as they cannot afford to use the energy.

“The Red Cross announced last week it would be helping with food aid in the UK for the first time since the Second World War.

“The UK government needs to wake up to this cost of living crisis and stop shunning responsibility. Conservative minister Lord Freud provoked outrage in July when he questioned whether there were “causal connections” between the rise of food banks and government austerity policies. In September Education Secretary Michael Gove was accused of being “out of touch” when he appeared to suggest that families using food banks were responsible for their own predicament.

“The Food Banks themselves are, however, doing a terrific and very valuable job in helping those who find themselves in a dreadful position through no fault of their own. It is heartening to see so many people rallying round to help their fellow citizens in time of need and is a very positive reflection on the resilience of our local communities.”

The Brechin food bank, part of the Trussell Trust, opened in March and has helped over 100 households in the town, as well as over 60 in Montrose.