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Nearly 4000 food parcels given to families in north during coronavirus crisis

By Gordon Calder

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ALMOST 4000 food parcels were provided to families in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross-shire during the pandemic, according to Labour parliamentary candidate, Marion Donaldson.

She said 1562 food parcels were for children with 2400 going to adults across the constituency, making a total of 3962.

Marion Donaldson says Labour would tackle poverty issues in north.
Marion Donaldson says Labour would tackle poverty issues in north.

Ms Donaldson, who comes from Skye and is a former Edinburgh councillor, said the food parcels were needed because the Scottish Government failed to secure family finances. She explained that child poverty was rising before the coronavirus struck.

In Highland, 8186 children were living in poverty in 2019/20, while across Scotland the number of food bank parcels provided to children has doubled since 2014.

"Despite promises to tackle poverty across Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon’s Government voted against a £5 top-up to child benefit in 2018 and has delayed action on a Good Food Bill despite calls from campaigners for urgent action to improve food security for families struggling to make ends meet," said Ms Donaldson.

"To enable every community across Scotland to recover from this pandemic, Labour is pledging to support families by doubling the Scottish Child Payment, with an additional £5 increase for families with a disabled child or parent.

"To support parents to return to work, strengthen family finances and boost the economy post-pandemic, Labour has also vowed to increase the free childcare entitlement to 50 hours a week, starting with increases for the most vulnerable one and two year-olds."

She added: "Children across Caithness, Sutherland and Ross deserve better than a distracted Government which is focused on constitutional arguments not securing their futures”.

"Scottish Labour will support families in our community by doubling the Scottish Child Payment and providing the free childcare that parents need to return to work boosting our economic recovery."

Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar said: "Child poverty is a national scandal. Can you imagine how much progress we could make in the eradication of poverty if politicians spent as much time on this as we do on arguments of the constitution”?

"Scotland deserves better. Scottish Labour’s top priority will be to deliver a national recovery that builds a stronger and fairer Scotland."

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