Extra £2.4m pledged to help Scots struggling with rising living costs

The funding will help vulnerable people across Scotland make ends meet as energy bills soar.

Scottish Government pledges extra £2.4m to help people struggling with rising food and living costs iStock

An extra £2.4m is being pledged by the Scottish Government to help people struggling to afford food and other essentials.

The funding is shared among four organisations who will distribute it to those who need it due the rising cost of living.

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) receives £1m, while the Corra Foundation was given £1.05m for its Household Hardship Fund.

Meanwhile Citizens Advice Scotland received funding to expand its shopping card pilot, offering an alternative to a food bank referral, and food poverty charity FareShare was allocated £250,000.

Social justice minister Shona Robison made the announcement during a visit to Prospect Community Housing in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh.

She was told by staff how they are helping residents with debt and income advice services.

Robison said: “I know people are struggling with the cost of food and other essentials right now, and this additional funding will get more support to some of those who need it most this winter.

“We are working with partners to prioritise urgent cash-first action when it comes to food insecurity, and this will take some of the pressure off food banks.

“This funding has the potential to directly reach 7,500 people, and many more will benefit than this as the Corra Foundation and FareShare will between them distribute it further to an estimated 900 organisations.

“We want people to make sure they are getting all the support they are entitled to, so I encourage anyone who is struggling financially to get advice on what support they may qualify for – through their local authority, a local advice service, or Social Security Scotland, as well as checking out our cost of living website.”

Sally Thomas, chief executive of SFHA, said: “Housing associations and co-operatives are doing everything they can to help tenants keep their heads above water, heat their homes and put food on their table this winter.

“However our members are increasingly reporting that tenants are facing impossible decisions on and between household bills and food as costs soar.

“It’s simply not right that anyone in Scotland should be going hungry this winter. As we continue to face this unprecedented crisis, this money will be critical to helping ensure social landlords can provide a response to food insecurity that is tailored to the needs of their tenants and communities, maintaining dignity and choice.”