Community food heroes praised for their pandemic efforts
Local authorities and charities across Scotland have been recognised for their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell has thanked them for their “incredible” work to help people across the country access food and other support.
Ms Campbell recently met with charities including Cash for Kids and The Food Train to hear about their achievements over the lockdown period and the specific challenges in tackling food insecurity.
Commenting, she said: “From volunteers cooking in their kitchens to grassroots organisations, national charities and our local authority partners, I’m grateful to all of our community food heroes for their incredible work to support people most affected by the pandemic. They had to react quickly, working in new ways to meet vastly increased demand and they tackled the challenge head-on.
“Across Scotland, people from all walks of life are experiencing harms related to this virus, including increased financial hardship and difficulties in accessing food, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ response.
“As part of our communities funding announced in March, we have committed over £110 million to tackle food insecurity. By working flexibly with community food distribution groups and local authorities across Scotland, we have ensured that funding reaches those best placed to offer support.
“We have also provided an extra £27.6m to local authorities to support people at-risk over the summer months and enable the continuation of free school meals during the holidays.
“By more than doubling the Scottish Welfare Fund and providing flexibility through the Food Fund, people in financial crisis have been able to access both cash and food based support.
“As we look ahead, it is vitally important that we continue to hear directly from organisations on the front line about the challenges in Scotland’s communities. Our partnerships with third sector organisation and local authorities will be crucial as we begin the journey towards recovery and renewal and in achieving our long-term ambition to end the need for emergency food aid.”