Policy actions  3 of 3

Tackling food insecurity

Cost of living crisis: find out what help is available

In 2016 The Independent Working Group on Food Poverty, whose membership included people with lived experience of food insecurity, recommended transitioning the response to food insecurity from charitable approaches towards rights-based, dignified approaches. This includes support to maximise income, and to access nutritious food in inclusive, community settings. Find out more about dignified approaches including the four dignity principles.

Scotland’s approach to tackling food insecurity is grounded in human rights; as set out in our statement to the UN Special Rapporteurs on Poverty and the Right to Food in February 2021, we prioritise action that prevents food insecurity through fair work and social security.

We continue to look at ways to tackle and respond to food insecurity. We consulted on a draft plan to end the need for food banks as a primary response to food insecurity and will publish a final on of the plan this autumn. 

The Independent Food Aid Network have published leaflets which may help people to find local cash-first support.      

Anyone who is worried about affording essentials like food or fuel should contact their local authority where they will be put in contact with local advice and support, including the Scottish Welfare Fund. 

Winter Support Fund

On 29 October 2021, we invested £41 million in a Winter Support Fund, including £25 million for local authorities to respond to financial insecurity with a strong steer in favour of cash first approaches.

A summary of activities, trends and learning to help inform future policy and practice will be published later in the summer.

Food insecurity during the school holidays

We have invested £10 million into a targeted summer 2022 offer designed to reach those school age children and their families who can benefit most from access to free holiday childcare, activities and food. 

2022 will be a year in which we can test change, strengthen local capacity and grow existing services to embed a holiday childcare offer as we build towards a sustainable system of year round school age childcare in term-time and the holidays. 

Alongside this, we are continuing to provide local authorities with over £21 million for payments, vouchers and meals during school holidays for those eligible for free school meals on the basis of low income as part of our phased expansion of free school meals. 

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