Food charity donation doubled by ministers in build-up to Brexit

The Scottish Government will double the cash it gives to a charity that helps those struggling to pay for food in the run-up to Brexit.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell announced an additional £500,000 was being made available to the charity FareShare, which works across the UK to redistribute surplus food to needy and vulnerable people.

She said ministers were making the extra funding available in part to “insure ourselves against the economic damage of a possible exit from the EU”.

Ms Campbell said: “It is shocking that we have to do so but the deal proposed by the UK Government would make people poorer and undo much of the great progress we have made as a nation to tackle inequalities and poverty.”

She announced the additional funding during a visit to a community food project in Crookston, Glasgow, where she spoke to staff, volunteers and locals.

FareShare last year redistributed enough food to provide more than 36 million meals across the UK.

Homeless hostels, children’s breakfast clubs, lunch clubs for elderly people, refugees and domestic abuse victims were among those it helped.

The Communities Secretary added: “In a country as prosperous as ours, everyone should have access to affordable, nutritious food.

“Our further investment in FareShare and community groups like Crookston ensures we reach more of the people who need help the most.

“This extra funding will further help those who have been badly hit by the UK Government’s cuts, which mean that welfare spending will be reduced in Scotland by £3.7 billion in 2020-21.”

Ms Campbell pledged: “Regardless of the Brexit outcome, we will continue our plans to tackle food insecurity.

“Scotland is the only country in the UK to routinely monitor food insecurity using the UN’s recommended measure and we are continuing to address the underlying causes.”

The Scottish Government has previously committed £3.5 million in 2019-20 to its Fair Food Fund, which was set up as part of efforts to reduce reliance on food banks.