Alison Johnstone Back to


25 September, 2019 - 00:00

Scottish Green health and social security spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP is calling for urgent action after new statistics showed an alarming rate of food insecurity.

The Scottish Health Survey released today shows that 9% of adults worry about about running out of food 6% ate less than they should to avoid running out of food, and 3% had run out of food due to a lack of resources.

The figures are much higher for single parents, with 25% worried they would run out of food, single men under 65 living alone, at 21%, and those in the most deprived areas, at 16%.

The survey is also revealed that mental wellbeing was lower for those reporting food insecurity.

 Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“It is shocking in a country as wealthy as Scotland we have so many people either worrying about running out of food due to lack of money or actually going hungry.

"For some Scots, we are failing in one of our most fundamental duties: to ensure everyone has reliable access to a healthy diet.

"The impact of poor nutrition on people’s physical and mental health is well understood, and it’s particularly detrimental to children’s development. That is why we must see urgent action.

"Food banks tell us that cuts and delays to social security is one of the main reasons why people end up running out of food, and today’s figures show us, yet again, how urgent it is for the UK Government to stop the cuts and re-invest in payments to support our most vulnerable citizens.

"I hope the new findings cause SNP Ministers think again about ensuring that all devolved payments are uprated with the cost of living and invest more in the Scottish Welfare Fund”

"Scottish Greens are doing their bit too. We’ve persuaded Scottish Ministers to roll-out a programme that boosts family incomes by offering referrals to money advice services and led the shift to a fairer system of Income Tax under which most Scots keep more of what they earn."