New research from Citizens Advice Scotland has found that over a third of people who responded to their survey in Dumfries and Galloway say they are worried about food running out before having money to buy more, and they are struggling to afford balanced and healthy meals.

The Bringing Food to the Table report from Citizens Advice Scotland is based on survey responses from 2,651 people across Scotland, with more than 250 responses from the Dumfries and Galloway area.  People filled in an online survey or a paper version in their local Citizens Advice Bureau, in September and October this year.

Almost a third of respondents, 29% would like to buy fresh fish but can’t afford to, while 17% said they would like to buy fresh fruit but can’t afford to.  The report also found that 60% survey respondents in Dumfries and Galloway rely on small supermarkets or a local corner shop for their grocery shopping. 38% of respondents in the area were in some form of employment (full-time, part-time or self-employment).

Sue Irving, Chief Executive of D&G CAS said:

“This study shows that a number of people living in Dumfries and Galloway are struggling to afford to buy food, and in 2018 this is simply unacceptable. For some people going hungry is the norm – that’s just not right. 

“I am shocked at some of the figures this piece of work has uncovered. There is an assumption that people in Scotland, especially those in work, would have access to food and be able to afford it, but this research shows that this is not the case. Food insecurity is a huge issue for our clients and this survey illuminates that.”  

CAS Chief Executive Derek Mitchell added:

“Citizens Advice Bureaux in Scotland have seen a 202% rise in demand for advice on food and foodbanks in the last five years. That’s an enormous rise and points to a real crisis in terms of the money in people’s pockets not going far enough.

“Since this is one of the first specific pieces of research that highlights the fact that people in employment are struggling to afford food, CAS will be using the findings as a first step to understanding this complex issue.”

The Bringing Food to the Table report is available here: www.cas.org.uk/foodonthetable