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14 May 2018
Breaking the Taboo - Going Hungry in Orkney

Orkney CAB has produced a report into food poverty in Orkney

Orkney as a county produces a great deal of food but many of our residents, including children, are going hungry.

The report looks at statistics about the use of the Orkney Foodbank and case studies of clients that the CAB has referred to the Foodbank. The report concludes:

• Many families go hungry because of delays in benefits payments

• Families often struggle to feed themselves in the school holidays when their income is the same, but they do  not have access to free school meals. Parents will often forgo eating to ensure that their children are fed.

• Others face hunger because a parent has had to flee domestic violence

• But the biggest cause appears to be that families are struggling with low incomes and most of these families have at least one adult in work. Orkney is blessed with high employment, but average wages are low.

The report argues that Orkney needs to recognise that it has a problem with food poverty and that all agencies need to come together to explore solutions.

Ali Gunn, CAB Manager said:

We are increasingly seeing clients who desperately need help because the benefits system has let them down. It could be people moving from one benefit to another, someone who has been working full time and paying the bills who has lost their job, or someone who has become ill and can no longer work. We can help them get the benefits they are entitled to, but this can take time meaning that in the interim a household may be left with no income at all. In these circumstances the Foodbank makes a real difference.

The full report can be viewed in our webpage library.

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