A SCOTTISH charity boss has slammed a deal struck between a national food bank network and Deliveroo.

Angela Moohan, chief executive of The Larder, a social enterprise providing food to households on low incomes, called for the Trussell Trust to end its partnership with the takeaway delivery firm which has previously come under fire over its use of zero hours contracts.

The Trussell Trust announced a new partnership with Deliveroo on Monday as they unveiled research reporting almost one in 10 parents say they are “very likely” to need to use a food bank in the next three months.

Under the deal Deliveroo will enable customers to add a round-up donation to their in-app food orders, with all proceeds going to the Trussell Trust’s food banks.

Funds raised will go towards parcels that contain at least three days’ worth of food for individuals and families. Deliveroo employees will also volunteer for the charity.

However, Ms Moohan, whose charity is based in Livingston, West Lothian, said insecure work was among the main causes of poverty and the need for people to turn to food banks.

"This partnership between the Trussell Trust and Deliveroo is the clearest indication yet of a system that is well and truly broken and ignores the relationship between low pay and food insecurity," said the former Labour councillor.

"As a living wage employer, we at The Larder recognise that poverty pay and insecure employment is not part of the recipe for ending hunger but indeed a key contributor to the rising figures of people going hungry.

“Deliveroo’s business model, with so many of its workers not earning the living wage and in low pay are the very things that contribute to food insecurity and the rising numbers of people in in-work poverty."

She added: “Good food provision is helped by fair pay and good employment conditions - let’s see Deliveroo deliver on these issues as a matter of priority then their commitment to ending food poverty might be taken a bit more seriously. Meanwhile we call on the Trussell Trust to end this partnership and find an alternative partner that supports fair work practices.”

Ms Moohan's plea comes as two former bosses of Deliveroo were given suspended one-year prison sentences and fined 30,000 euros by a French court on Tuesday for abusing the freelance status of riders working for the delivery platform. The company itself was also fined the maximum penalty of 375,000 euros, the court ruled, Reuters reported.

Deliveroo said in a statement that it “categorically contests” the French court’s ruling and was considering whether to appeal.

Its statement said the court decision referred to an early version of its operating model and had no consequences for the way it now operates.

Emma Revie, chief executive officer at the Trussell Trust, last night defended its partnership with Deliveroo and said her organisation would be willing to meet with Larder and Deliveroo to discuss concerns.

“We always consider all new partnership proposals very carefully to ensure they’re aligned with our organisational vision and priorities. Like all new potential partnerships, the Deliveroo partnership has been subject to Trussell Trust’s robust internal due diligence process which includes a review of Deliveroo’s equal opportunities policies, statements, working conditions and fair treatment aspects," she said.

“We've had lengthy discussions with Deliveroo in reaching this agreement and received assurances about the rider self-employment model and rider fees, as well as various conversations with them about building a meaningful relationship that speaks to our values. The Trussell Trust will proceed to carry out due diligence tests with Deliveroo every six months and will also respond rapidly to any concerns.

“By joining forces with Deliveroo and introducing the round-up donation function, we are able to bring the issue of families facing hunger to the forefront of people’s minds at the exact moment they are able to make a difference by making a donation to support communities across the UK via the app. The funds raised through this function as well as an accompanying awareness campaign, will aim to encourage conversations about creating real change and turning compassion into action."

She added: “We know that most people (86 per cent) forced to use a food bank are not in-work. However, we also have a duty to people who are in-work and struggling to afford the essentials to understand what is driving the need for a food bank. We are currently developing our work in this area and we will be having meaningful conversations with all our partners about their role in helping ensure all of us can afford the essentials in life.

“We also know that change is only possible if we stand together. There’s a part for everyone to play; government, communities, charities and businesses all need to be working together if we are going to create a UK without the need for food banks. We would be keen to meet with The Larder and Deliveroo to address their concerns directly and discuss our joint commitment to work towards a future where everyone is free from hunger.”

A Deliveroo Spokeswoman said: “Deliveroo has a history of working with charities to provide meals to those in need. During the pandemic we worked with our restaurant partners to provide free meals to NHS workers.

"We have recently delivered one million meals to vulnerable groups working with the Felix Project and Fareshare. We are committed to using our platform to play a positive role in the communities in which we operate and we’re pleased to partner with Trussell Trust to support local food banks across the country. Through this partnership, we hope to provide up to two million meals and vital support to people facing hunger.”

"Tens of thousands of riders choose to work with Deliveroo in the UK because our way of working is designed around what riders tell us matters to them most - the chance to determine their own work patterns and work when and where they want.

"Riders always earn more than the national minimum wage while working with us and in most cases riders earn significantly more than this. We are pleased to have recently extended our free insurance coverage to riders, protecting them when they are unwell and cannot work and giving one-off payments to new parents. Deliveroo is committed to offer riders both flexibility and security."