Scotland's Poor Face 'WWII-Style Rationing' Amid Soaring Food Prices
Scotland's poorest people are facing food shortages akin to Second World War rationing, a charity has said.
Pensioners and those on the lowest incomes are struggling to feed themselves in the face of rising food prices, Oxfam Scotland said.
The charity said food prices have been rising at over twice the rate of the national minimum wage and at nearly twice the rate of jobseeker's allowance over the past five years.
A poll of people on below-average incomes, conducted on behalf of the charity, suggests people are buying lower-quality food, changing how and where they shop and even skipping meals to ensure their families are properly fed.
The poll of 117 Scottish adults, in an income bracket below the Government's "households below average income" measurement, shows one in 20 (5%) skip meals to feed their children and three-quarters (76%) were spending more on food in the last year.
One in four (25%) say the quality of food they are eating has dropped in the last 12 months, the highest percentage in the UK. Just under one in four (23%) spend £40 a week or less on food.
Danny McCafferty, from Clydebank Independent Resource Centre near Glasgow, which helps unemployed people and those on low incomes, said he has seen a steady rise in the number of people seeking help.
He said pensioners are "forced to continually hunt for the best deal on whatever food they want to buy, and they can tell you the price of everything. They search between shops for the best deal because they have no other option. Five or 10 pence really counts."
Centre user Ann, 48, a full-time council worker and mother of two, said: "There are times that I can't afford my shopping bill. When that happens I'll make sure that my son eats before I do. In the last fortnight before pay day I would say I skip meals maybe twice a week, just to make sure that he has enough."
Oxfam Scotland said the poll "charts the real-life effects of rising food prices in Scotland". Judith Robertson, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: "It is a gross injustice that poor people in Scotland are finding it increasingly difficult to feed themselves and their families."