£1.6m to help tackle food insecurity
Further support for food distribution network FareShare.
People most at risk from food insecurity due to the COVID-19 outbreak are to receive further support from the Scottish Government’s £70 million Food Fund.
FareShare, a national network of charitable food distributors, has distributed over 1,440 tonnes of food - the equivalent of almost 3.5 million meals – since 23 March, supported by £500,000 of Scottish Government funding.
Now, an additional £1.6 million of funding will help FareShare purchase more food for local authorities, community-run initiatives and frontline charities across Scotland.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
“At this difficult time, it is more important than ever that we tackle food insecurity by supporting the work of community food distribution groups across the country who are best placed to ensure vital supplies reach those who need it most.
“By working in partnership with FareShare and their partners in communities across Scotland, this extra funding will help frontline charities and community food groups provide support to even more people in need.
“Ultimately, ending food insecurity is about having enough money to buy the food you need – and alongside the £70 million Food Fund, we have taken other important steps, including more than doubling the Scottish Welfare Fund budget.
“I would encourage anyone who is struggling to afford or access food during these challenging times to contact our national helpline on 0800 111 4000.”
Head of FareShare Scotland Gillian Kynoch said:
“We are experiencing an enormous pull on our resources during these challenging times. While food companies continue to make their surplus food available to us, the need in communities for support with additional food remains great.
“This additional £1.6 million will enable us to top up our food supplies through the coming months and keep on providing food to the frontline organisations caring for and supporting people hard pressed by the current crisis.”
Leader of Highland Council Margaret Davidson said:
“The strong collaboration between the council and FareShare has benefited the many households who have been receiving nutritional food parcels from our local community hubs since lockdown began. In addition to the food supplies for the council, FareShare continues to supply a wide range of community groups across the Highlands who in turn are ensuring local households are nourished.
“Our welfare team continues to carry out benefit checks ensuring that all benefits are claimed, including the Scottish Welfare Fund.”
The £70 million Food Fund supports people facing additional barriers in accessing food, and has been distributed as follows:
- £30 million for the national shielding programme to provide food parcels to those at high clinical risk from COVID-19
- £30 million to Local Authorities for others who are at-risk or struggling financially, including over-70s and families eligible for free school meals
- £10 million to third-sector partners delivering community-based responses at national and local levels, including FareShare
FareShare is a UK-wide network of charitable food redistributors, made up of 17 independent organisations. Together they take quality surplus food from across the UK and get it to almost 11,000 frontline charities and community groups.