Martin Whitfield MSP has said this year must be the year Scotland enshrines a statutory Right to Food in law, as figures show food bank use soaring in East Lothian.

The Trussell Trust’s mid-year statistics show that the number of food parcels handed out in East Lothian has soared by 197 per cent since 2017.

The number of parcels given to children has risen even more drastically, increasing by an appalling 217 per cent, with more than 2000 parcels being given out to children in the space of just six months between April and September last year.

Mr Whitfield and Scottish Labour have said this proves there must be no more delays to the introduction of a legal right to food in Scotland.

Scottish Labour have long campaigned for a statutory right to food in Scots law. The SNP and the Greens both backed this policy in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, however in May the SNP-Green government voted against Labour’s attempt to introduce a Right to Food during the Good Food Nation Bill.

Commenting, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“As the cost of living crisis piles pressure on households, more and more people in East Lothian are being forced to turn to foodbanks and other community food services. Families are at breaking point and parents are struggling to feed their children.

“It is more urgent than ever that we enshrine people’s right to food in Scots law, but the SNP-Green government keep kicking the can down the road. There is no more time to delay – this year must be the year we embed the right to food in law at last.”