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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04023: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 25 October 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has regarding how many people have presented themselves at foodbanks in each of the last 10 years.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 2 November 2016

The Scottish Government uses the Trussell Trust data to identify the trends in food bank use in Scotland. While the TT figures only cover their own foodbanks, they are the largest provider of emergency food aid in Scotland. The TT statistics can be accessed at:

The latest figures for Scotland from 2011-12 through to 2015-16 are in the following table:

Financial Year

Number of 3 day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis









However, those using food banks are not the only people experiencing food poverty. We heard through our Fairer Scotland conversation in summer 2015 that there are also many people who struggle to afford food but will not, for various reasons, access a foodbank. The Scottish Government has therefore taken steps to better measure the full range of food insecurity in Scotland. Three questions on food insecurity in Scotland will be included in the Scottish Health Survey 2017. Thereafter, the full United Nations food insecurity question set will be included in the Scottish Health Survey from 2018 onwards. This will allow internationally comparable baseline data on food insecurity in Scotland to be available in 2019 with further data sets available annually thereafter.