Scottish Government announces £1 million to tackle food waste and food poverty.
Scottish charities are to receive £1 million to tackle food waste and food poverty.
Announcing the fund deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon described the rise of food poverty as "depressing".
“One of the most depressing trends over the last few years has been the rapid rise of food poverty in our country," she said.
"The only upside to the foodbank story is seeing communities coming together, gathering and distributing food for those in need."
One of the most depressing trends over the last few years has been the rapid rise of food poverty in our country
The money will be split between foodbank charities and the charity FareShare, which will receive £500,000 each.
According to The Trussell Trust, the number of people who used foodbanks between April 2013 and February 2014 rose to 56,000, compared to around 4,100 people in that same period in 2010 and 2011.
FareShare takes surplus good quality food from supermarkets and distributes it to other charities and community groups that provide services such as breakfast clubs, homeless shelters and lunch clubs for older people.
It currently operate projects in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen, which provide food to more than 90 charities, feeding 4,500 every day.
“The support from Scottish Government will allow the charity to expand the geographical area it covers, and reach more people who are in need,” said Carol-Anne Alcorn, FareShare Edinburgh and Cyrenians interim chief executive.
“Designed to provide a ‘hand up and not a hand out’ it links with organisations which provide other types of support to people, ensuring that families and individuals receive more than just food.”
The charity differs from foodbanks as the majority of member charities receiving the food prepare meals on site rather than handing out bags of ingredients.
By preparing the food for a sit-down meal it allows the charities to speak to those who visit about the wider issues faced by the person and to address the causes of why they are struggling to feed themselves.
Sturgeon added: “FareShare are already providing a vital lifeline to thousands of people across Scotland.
“We want to help them support even more people and make sure those driven to use foodbanks as a result of the UK Government’s welfare reforms are able to access appropriate advice and support.”