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Nearly one in ten worried about putting food on table

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The new figures come as the Good Food Nation Bill is being considered at Holyrood.

A leading food charity has warned that new research calls into question Scotland’s ongoing ambition to be a Good Food Nation. 

On Tuesday new figures were published as part of the Scottish Health Survey showing stark differences in people’s ability to put food on the table. 

Data from between 2017 and 2019 shows Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and East Ayrshire are among the worst-affected areas, with around 14 per cent of people saying they worry about running out of food. 

These rates are three times higher than some other parts of Scotland.

Campaigners have warned the overall average of nine per cent of households being worried about running out of food is still far too high – and the pandemic has increased inequalities further.

In the least affluent areas of Scotland, one in every six households worries about running out of food, compared to one in thirty in the most affluent areas.

With the cost of living crisis already impacting families, strong action is needed to prevent food insecurity becoming deeper and more widespread, causing long-term damage to health and wellbeing, especially for children. 

Pete Ritchie, executive director of Nourish Scotland, said: “These figures show the huge disparity in food insecurity across Scotland pre-Covid; and the pandemic has deepened this inequality.  

“We’re not living in a good food nation when so many Scots are struggling to put food on the table, let alone choose the food they want to stay healthy and well. 

“The cost of living crisis will make a bad situation worse unless there’s bold action from the government.”

Nourish Scotland reiterated the importance of the ongoing bid to pass the Good Food Nation bill at Holyrood, which is currently being considered at committee. 

Mr Ritchie added: “With the Good Food Nation bill now going through Parliament, there’s an opportunity to put the right to food into Scots law and start levelling up our food system.”