The Scottish National Party’s Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Perthshire South & Kinross-shire, and Mr Pete Wishart MP, Member of Parliament for Perth & North Perthshire, attended the official launch this morning (Friday) of Perth & Kinross’s first Food Bank.
Speaking following the event, Mr Wishart said:
“It was with a heavy heart that I went along to today’s event. I am full of praise for those who have organised this facility which will be a big help to many families facing real difficulties in these dark economic times but I am full of anger and sadness at the need for its existence.
“Perth and Kinross Council, the Trussell Trust and Perth Action Churches Together (PACT) have come together to provide this service which, like similar Foodbanks around Scotland will support some of the most vulnerable families in society.
“The Perth food bank will give food to families in crisis. The food includes cereals, milk, fruit juice, soup, pasta, meat, fish and vegetables. The food provides nutritional meals for 3 days.
“Food is donated by churches, individuals groups and charities and by the public through collection days outside the major supermarkets.
“But it really is a disgrace that in the seventh richest country in the world, families in our society are forced to resort to charitable donations and volunteer efforts. This is the reality of Scotland under Westminster rule and a direct consequence of the assault on the welfare system that is being waged by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition.”
Ms Cunningham continued:
“At present the distribution centre is open from 2pm to 4pm on Monday and Friday and they are hoping to open up satellite venues elsewhere in my constituency, in both Crieff and Kinross.
“I am sure that the people of Perthshire will want to support this venture and I wish them well in their endeavours - Pete and I will be doing what we can through our offices to support them in their work – but I cannot get away from the fact that it is an absolute travesty that there is a need for a facility like this in what is an incredibly rich country.
“So I was absolutely gobsmacked to see a row of Tory politicians sitting prominently at the front at today’s launch. Their brass neck really does know no bounds. I hope that every one of them will reflect on the reasons behind the need for today’s event.
“It is Tory economic policy that has made the UK the most unequal country in western Europe and Tory welfare cuts that are creating the need for foodbanks like this one to be set up the length and breadth of the country."