PE01571: Food Bank Funding

People Communities

Petitioner: John Beattie


Date Lodged: 30 July 2015

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to provide direct funding to food banks to ensure that demand for their services can be fully met.

Petition History:


22 September 2015: The Committee took evidence from John Beattie and Kevin Magee, Community Development Worker, Govan Community Development Trust. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, independent food bank operators, COSLA, a selection of local authorities and FareShare. Link to Official Report 22 September 2015

1 December 2015: The Committee agreed to defer further consideration of the petition until the Scottish Government has published the Social Justice Action Plan. Link to Official Report 1 December 2015

9 February 2016: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 9 February 2016

1 March 2016: The Committee agreed to include the petition in its legacy paper for consideration by the Session 5 Public Petitions Committee. Link to Official Report 1 March 2016 

30 June 2016: The Committee agreed to refer the petition, under Rule 15.6.2 of the Parliament's Standing Orders, to the Social Security Committee for further consideration. Link to Official Report 30 June 2016

8 September 2016: The Social Security Committee agreed  to maintain a watching brief on food bank funding through the Committee’s wider work on social security. The Social Security Committee also agreed to ask the Scottish Government to keep both the Committee and the petitioner informed of its response to the Scottish Government's Independent Short Life Working Group on Food Poverty report when this is available (including a timescale for any actions planned in response).The Social Security Committee also agreed to write to the Scottish Government in relation to the Emergency Food Fund to assess the level of demand for this fund, whether it was oversubscribed and the level of support still available for food banks from the relevant organisations. Link to Official Report 8 September 2016

25 October 2018: The Social Security Committee agreed to close the petition. Link to Official Report of 25 October 2018

Written Submissions:

Food bank usage has exploded over the last five years. In our community, Govan in Glasgow, we have now reached the point where the community is struggling to meet the demand of the food banks from our fellow citizens. Despite having organised food collections and used local resources such as Sunny Govan Community Radio to contiually broadcast emergency appeals, the situation keeps getting worse. We hear of similar struggles elsewhere.

This is why we ask the Scottish Government to either 1. use money from it's underspend (estimated £145m) or 2. raise tax by 1p to collect an estimated £256m to combat food shortages in food banks to prevent our fellow citizens, many with children, from going hungry. It is estimated that £1,000 per week is required to sustain demand on Glasgow South West food bank alone. These 4 food banks so far have fed 4,745 people including 1,485 children. 


Foodbanks are a disgrace to humanity!

David Nairn

14:44 on 30 Jul 2015

Well said Doug Gibb x

Anne McAllister

20:40 on 22 Jul 2015

It is a scandal that the policies of the Westminster Government have made food banks a necessity and it will only get worse when the measures in the budget take effect. The Scottish Government should do all in its powers to protect the poor against Tory policies designed to protect the wealthy and attack those without. Welfare should be devolved to Holyrood.

Pete McElroy

20:58 on 16 Jul 2015

Foodbanks are a symptomatic of a failed Welfare system which under this Tory govt has been changed and cut for the worse. I agree that SGovt should in short term do something help these people who have fallen through the widening cracks in the system. Every Scots priority should be to campaign for Scotland to be given its own Welfare powers to make changes for the better, direct funding Foodbanks is in the long term unsustainable. There should be no need for Foodbanks at all. I want to campaign for that.

Bruce Sutherland

17:49 on 14 Jul 2015

It is shameful that the snp choose to use Scots misery for their own political ends when they have the power to raise taxes and could end austerity tomorrow.

doug gibb

17:56 on 13 Jul 2015

Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions campaign is also calling for the Scottish Government to immediately cover the financial losses of welfare sanctions imposed on people claiming welfare. Stop hunger now. SNP Scottish Government put your money where your mouth is!

Dominic O'Hara

14:35 on 11 Jul 2015

We need Help

Margaret W Wallace

17:28 on 07 Jul 2015

I have reservations about governments funding foodbanks. Governments should render foodbanks unnecessary. However, we start from where we are.

Ian McGregor

16:24 on 27 Jun 2015

Foodbanks have become an essential service in an era of ideologically motivated austerity. The Scottish Government has committed itself to mitigating the most severe aspects of this programme (e.g. the bedroom tax). I urge the Scottish Government to continue this work by using its underspend to feed families living in extreme and socially unjust poverty.

Nick Jenkins

15:44 on 22 Jun 2015

I fully support the submission of this petition and request that the committee forward it with the utmost degree of urgency to the Scottish Government with full support. As a regular contributor to foodbanks, it is disgraceful that a government should underpsned its budget when people are literally running out of food. This is Scotland in the 21st Century, we should act like the people who say we are.

Murray Leith

12:44 on 22 Jun 2015

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