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More than one in five Scots starving due to lack of cash, survey finds

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

MORE than a fifth of people in Scotland have gone a day without eating because they are too poor to buy food, according to a Citizens Advice Scotland survey.

The survey of more than 2,600 people found 21% had not eaten for a day due to lack of money.

Results suggested many working people are struggling to afford food.

Just under half (45%) of respondents were employed and of these one in three (29%) reported having to reduce or skip meals because they lacked money for food.

A total of 40% of working respondents worried about running out of food before having money to buy more and 35% said they are struggling to afford to eat balanced meals.

This rose to 45% of all those who completed the survey, employed and unemployed, worrying about running out of food before having funds to replace it.

Researchers found 23% of people had had to skip meals so that their children could eat.

More than a fifth (21%) of people considered fresh fruit to be unaffordable.

Citizen’s Advice Scotland Chief Executive Derek Mitchell said he was “shocked” at some of the figures.

“For some people going hungry is the norm – that’s just not right,” he said.

“This study shows that many working people in Scotland are struggling to afford to buy food, and in 2018 this is simply unacceptable.”

He added: “Citizens Advice Bureaux in Scotland have seen a 202% rise in demand for advice on food and food banks in the last five years.

“That’s an enormous rise and points to a real crisis in terms of the money in people’s pockets not going far enough.”

A total of 2,651 completed the survey in September or October 2018, around half online and half on paper by people seeking advice from Citizens Advice Scotland or partner agencies.