Dignity: Ending Hunger Together in Scotland

Report of the Independent Working Group on food poverty.

This document is part of a collection


1. The Independent Working Group on Food Poverty should continue to work in partnership to help deliver the recommendations in this report.


2. Any organisation which secures Scottish Government funding and support to work on tackling food poverty must demonstrate how its approach promotes dignity and is helping to transition away from emergency food aid as the primary response.


3. The Scottish Government should explore how the right to food can be enshrined within Scots Law.

4. The Scottish Government should introduce and fund a robust system to measure food insecurity in Scotland, alongside wider measures of poverty.

5. The Scottish Government, having established reliable population data on household food insecurity, should set stretching targets to reduce it and explore how these could be integrated within the National Performance Framework.

6. The Scottish Government should lead in communicating clearly and consistently the causes of food insecurity as identified by research.


7. The Scottish Government should use all available devolved powers, including procurement rules, to ensure work is a reliable route out of poverty, including payment of the Living Wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation, and the promotion of decent work more widely.

8. The Scottish Government should use new social security powers to improve the value of social security support, initially prioritising households with children through a top up to Child Benefit.

9. The Scottish Government and local authorities should prioritise investment in benefits advice and information services in order to maximise people's incomes and should carry out a review to enhance the quality of the service provided.

10. The Scottish Government should ensure key stakeholders, especially those with direct experience of the social security system, are fully involved in consultation on the forthcoming Scottish Social Security Bill, the development of the new Social Security Agency, and the creation of its new employment programmes.

11. The Scottish Government should continue to make strong representation to the UK Government with a view to reducing the risk of sanctions, maladministration, error and delay in the UK benefits system.

12. The Scottish Government and local authorities should use all available devolved powers to reduce the costs for energy, rent, transport and the school day for low income households.

13. The Scottish Government and local authorities should prioritise investment in healthy meals at school, and further explore the potential for providing healthy meals as part of school holiday programmes.


14. The Scottish Government, along with local authorities and all those responding to acute food insecurity, should ensure widespread use of the Scottish Welfare Fund as the first port of call for emergency support and ensure the Fund is administered in a way that allows this.

15. If demand for the Scottish Welfare Fund grows, the Scottish Government should increase investment in it accordingly.

16. Community food providers (including those providing food in an emergency) should work together to improve the quality of the food provided and create opportunities to enable the sharing of meals, the provision of choice, and culturally appropriate nutritious foods.


17. The social enterprise and community sector should continue the development of community food hubs across Scotland, supported by the recently expanded Fair Food Fund.

18. The Scottish Government, assisted by the Independent Working Group on Food Poverty, should work with non-government donors to increase the capacity of funding and expertise to tackle food insecurity.

19. Local authorities should work with others including those with lived experience of food poverty to develop and implement Community Food Plans, of which a central element should be reducing food insecurity and hunger.


Email: Graeme MacLennan

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