The numbers of children going hungry in Scotland have risen by as much as 600 per cent in some areas in the past five years. 

Food bank charity the Trussell Trust delivered 87,968 emergency food packages to Scottish children in 2022/2023 compared to 55,986 in 2017/2018 – an increase of more than 50 per cent. 

And some areas have seen an even more dramatic rise in food bank use in this time, with children in the Scottish Borders going from receiving just 73 parcels to 526, a rise of more than 620 per cent.

East Lothian saw the next biggest increase of child hunger at 200 per cent, with 3,000 more parcels delivered to children in 2022/2023 than in 2017/2018. 

And Aberdeen City saw an almost 200 per cent rise in food parcels for children, with 3,936 children helped in 2022/2022 compared to 1,324 five years ago. 


The latest figures released by the Trussell Trust paint a worrying picture of child poverty in Scotland. 

In Glasgow, the number of children using foodbanks rose from 11,875 to 13,052 in the same time period, while Edinburgh saw a more than 30 per cent jump from 5,812 to 7,671. 

However, some areas saw a decrease in the number of children needing emergency food supplies. North Ayrshire fell from 2,113 parcels to 1,350, a drop of 30 per cent.

While some areas, including Moray, Na h-Eileanan Siar, and West Dunbartonshire did not have data available. 

'This is not right'

The Trussell Trust said it had handed out a record number of almost 130,000 parcels to children and adults in the six months between April and September 2023. 

Polly Jones, head of the Trussell Trust in Scotland, said: “It is alarming that an increasing number of children in Scotland are growing up in families facing hunger, forced to turn to food banks to survive.

“A generation is growing up believing that it’s normal to see a food bank in every community. This is not right.”

It came with a warning food banks are at "breaking point" as more and more people struggle to put food on the table. 

Mr Jones said: “At a time when need for emergency support is greater than ever, the scale of the hunger and hardship faced by thousands in Scotland must be met with significantly scaled-up action this winter and beyond.”

Read more: Trussell Trust in Scotland hands out almost 130,000 parcels in six months

'Cost of living soaring'

The Herald: David Linden MPDavid Linden MP (Image: Newsquest)

The Scottish Government has said it is doing "what it can with limited devolved powers" to help families. 

SNP social justice spokesperson David Linden MP said: “The Tory government has pushed millions of families into poverty by imposing deep welfare cuts and damaging policies like Brexit, which have sent the cost of living in the UK soaring.

“The SNP is doing what it can with limited devolved powers to help households, including measures like the council tax freeze and Scottish Child Payment – and it’s high time the UK Government stepped up to the plate and did its bit to support struggling households.”

Read more: Two in three Scots referred to food banks are disabled

A spokesperson for the UK Department of Work and Pensions said: “There are 1.7 million fewer people in absolute poverty than in 2010, but we know some families are struggling, which is why we are providing a record support package worth £3,300 per household."

This includes cost of living payments given to more than eight million households, the spokesperson said, and the £2 billion Household Support Fund which is aimed at helping people to to buy essentials.

They said: “We also know households are at least £6,000 a year better off in full-time work than out of work on benefits, and to help people out of poverty through work we are also increasing the National Living Wage again and investing £3.5 billion to help thousands into jobs, grow the economy and bear down on inflation.”