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Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has condemned "Dickensian" levels of food poverty in response to new figures on the number of people in need of foodbanks.
The Trussell Trust estimates that 350,000 across the UK have used a foodbank in the last six months, but CAS fears that many more people are struggling.
On World Food Day last month, CAS Chief Executive Margaret Lynch noted that many people get payday loans just to eat, incurring debts they are unable to repay. She blamed the increase in food poverty on welfare cuts and the rising cost of living.
Almost three-quarters of 500 cases analysed were related to benefits, including low levels of pay, delays and loss of benefits due to sanctions.
“Foodbank charities are doing a great job helping people in need,”she said. “But food parcels in themselves don’t address the underlying causes of poverty.
“Policy should be focused at ensuring that families do not experience these problems at all and are able to put food on the table. That doesn’t seem like much to ask of a civilised society in 2013.”