Shopping vouchers instead of food banks for cash strapped Scots being considered

Cash -strapped people could be given vouchers so they don’t have to use food banks, under Scottish Government plans.

Ministers are consulting on proposals to “pilot the use of shopping vouchers as an alternative” which would end the need for emergency parcels.

It comes amid fears the number of people struggling to get by could rise, after the UK Government ended the £20 uplift to Universal Credit.

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison

A consultation paper praises the work of food banks but says their emergency parcels are “rarely able to meet dietary, social and cultural needs and preference”.

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “We share the same vision as food bank operators – they are not a long-term solution to poverty.

“Our draft plan sets out what we will do – including introducing a shopping voucher pilot scheme – to make food banks the last port of call.”

Sabine Goodwin, co-ordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network, which represents more than 500 UK food banks, said: “With a cash first, collaborative approach as the cornerstone of this plan, a time when food banks will no longer be needed to plug the gaps left by financial hardship is within sight.”

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