The Poverty and Inequality Commission has published a briefing in response to evidence of a rise in food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The briefing welcomes all that has been done so far by the Scottish Government, local authorities and the Third Sector to put in place emergency food assistance to keep people afloat in these difficult times, however, it identifies a growing concern that there are some aspects of the response effort around emergency food that need to be better co-ordinated and more sustainable, particularly to support community groups who can offer a lifeline by responding to local needs.
The briefing recommends that the Scottish Government provides more visible leadership on food security issues to ensure emergency provision is made to those who need it. It also calls for the appointment of a national public spokesperson to improve communication on food security issues that could help allay uncertainty and anxiety around food access in our communities during the COVID-19 crisis.
The recommendations have been made by a short-life working group established by the Commission to address issues arising from the nation’s response to COVID-19. Its aim is to produce detailed recommendations that will influence policy discussions and lead to change that will support those most in need. The working group recognises that the emergency food response is rapidly evolving and it intends to follow up with community organisations in coming weeks to see if their specific concerns have been resolved.