Food bank figures provoke dismay in Church of Scotland

A Church of Scotland minister has expressed dismay at figures released this week by food bank charity The Trussell Trust which highlight the scale of the issue across the UK.

The charity said it handed out 913,000 food parcels in the last year, up from 347,000 the year before.

Rev Melvyn Wood, whose church in Glasgow is a member of The Trussell Trust – the UK's biggest food bank charity – said: "These are alarming figures which point to a failure in governance.

"Food banks have become all too common across Scotland. There are 13 in the Presbytery of Glasgow alone.

"The Church of Scotland has historically been there to support people in need when the state has failed. This is the latest example. These figures suggest yet again that there is an increase in the divergence between rich and poor across the UK.

"It should be emphasised that food poverty is about justice, not just charity. There are perceptions out there that those using food banks are seeking charity too easily. This is not the case, people are using them out of real need. Food banks have become a last resort where their use hinges on whether a family can eat or not."

The Church of Scotland is supporting food banks across the country.

In the Falkirk area alone, since December 2013, the Church distributed 49 tonnes of food to 5500 households.