Nine in ten Scots worried about food prices in the year ahead

Food bank use is on the rise as people struggle with soaring bills, Citizens Advice Scotland said.

Nine in ten people in Scotland are worried about food prices in the year ahead, research has found.

The survey of 1,509 adults, undertaken by YouGov for Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) found that 94% of respondents were concerned about the price of food in the coming year. Of that, 53% of respondents were “very concerned.”

Meanwhile, 28% reported being concerned and 13% were a little concerned.

According to ONS figures for May 2023, food inflation in the UK currently stands at 18.4%.

Previous analysis of data patterns by Citizens Advice Scotland found a link between people seeking energy advice and needing some form of food insecurity advice, and demand for food bank advice across the CAB network was up 11% in the year to April 2023.

Citizens Advice Bureau are also noting an increase in demand for food bank referrals because of increased food costs.

Citizens Advice Scotland said there has been an increase in foodbank referralsGetty Images

CAS Chief Executive Derek Mitchell said: “Everyone is feeling the squeeze of the cost-of-living crisis, but the sheer scale of people worried about food prices shows you how inflation in that area has really affected people’s household budgets.

“CAB advisers see far too many horrific examples of people having to choose between heating and eating, and warmer weather over the summer doesn’t mean that spending choices become easier.

“In fact, for families with children it may be even more challenging without access to free school meals during the week.

“We would encourage anyone who is worried about bills and money to seek advice from their local CAB or our online advice resources.

“Don’t wait until the bills pile up and you need to make one of these impossible choices, seek advice as soon as possible.

“Our advisers get real results. We unlocked £132m for people last year, and one in six people who sought advice saw a financial gain, the average value of which was over £4,200. We don’t judge, we just help.”

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