Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Debate on food banks

An MP has claimed that the number of people in Scotland relying on food banks has risen by over 50% in recent months.

Speaking during a Westminster Hall debate on 19 December 2012, the Labour MP for Glenrothes, Lindsay Roy, claimed that some people were "so under-nourished their stomachs could only cope with soup".

He said the rise in the use of food banks was due to cuts to benefits, and was leading to "stigma, [loss of] self-esteem and lack of hope".

Nearly 3,000 people in Scotland have so far received food parcels since April, according to Citizens Advice Scotland.

In 2011, the Trussell Trust, which runs the UK's only network of food banks, fed almost 6,000 in Scotland.

It gives people referred to it an emergency supply of dried and tinned food.

Mr Roy's criticism of the Scottish Government for failing to do enough to tackle the problem was rebuffed by the SNP's Eilidh Whiteford.

"His prejudices against the SNP cloud his real judgement," she claimed, adding that "Labour threw money at problems with no real benefit."

Winding up the debate, Scotland Office Minister David Mundell praised the work of food charities for their role in helping people in "desperate situations".

However he denied that it was something that had started in recent months, and criticised Labour for seeking a "miracle solution".

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