Cunninghame North’s constituency candidates answer five questions
Porridge or noodles? That’s not a question that regularly occupies the average person’s thoughts, but for those in food crisis it is a choice they often have to make. And with last week’s Trussell Trust report indicating that food bank use has increased by two per cent on last year’s figures, where the next meal will come from has become a pressing issue for many more people.
When we also take into account Oxfam’s recent report that over 2 million people in the UK are estimated to be malnourished, and 3 million are at risk of becoming so, it seems clear that food poverty is not going away—it’s getting worse.
Right here on our own doorstep, North Ayrshire Foodbanks issued 4,750 food parcels in 2015—almost twice the UK average of 2,558 parcels per food bank—and served 3,600 meals to children through the Make a Meal of It (MAMOI) project that operates during the school holidays to replace the free school meals the children would otherwise receive during term-time.
The Scottish Government provides some financial support for MAMOI and similar projects across Scotland and they recently announced that funding to help tackle food poverty in our communities will be doubled in 2016/17. This is very welcome news, but why should it be necessary for the government of a developed country to provide hunger relief to so many people in the 21st century?
It is a question that many of us ask ourselves and I have no doubt that our politicians ask themselves the same thing. But what answers do they come up with?
With the Scottish Parliament election on 5th May almost upon us, now would be a good time to find out.
I asked each of the four Cunninghame North constituency candidates five questions on food banks and child poverty and what they would do to address these issues if elected.
This is what they had to say…
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