Foodbanks are evidence of economic failure says Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland has weighed in to the food poverty debate saying the existence of foodbanks is an “economic and political failure.”
And tackling food poverty should be a priority for the Scottish Government, says the church, before they become “embedded in our communities”.
The call comes as the Kirk responded to a Scottish Government consultation document Becoming a Good Food Nation which outlines the business and economic case for Scotland’s food and drink industry.
But Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, convener of the Church of Scotland’s church and society council, said food poverty was the biggest barrier to the economic growth of this sector.
“It is striking that the discussion document makes no mention of the most obvious and significant development in these five years – the growth of foodbanks, now in danger of becoming embedded in our communities,” she said.
No aspiring good food nation can ignore the scandal they represent
“Surely a good food nation must be founded on a promise that all within its borders have enough to eat.
“In a country of such plenty, foodbanks are a particular scandal.
“Foodbanks represent a huge market failure – an economic and political failure that brings little credit to food and agriculture businesses, to government at all levels, or to Scotland as a nation.
“No aspiring good food nation can ignore the scandal they represent.”
Food poverty is on the increase in Scotland. According to the Trussell Trust, the largest foodbank charity in the country, 71,428 people were handed emergency parcels in the last year – including more than 22,000 children.
Foster-Fulton added: “We believe the elimination of food poverty should be the principal aim of Scottish Government food policy, and therefore that the proposed Scottish Food Commission be given this challenge as its first objective.”