The Committee looked into the issue of food banks to find out if there is possible links to the UK Government’s welfare reforms. The Committee wished to gain a greater understanding of the key issues and the practical experiences of those working to provide food banks.
The Committee held a round table session on 4 March 2014, in the run-up to this meeting Committee Members visited a number of food banks in thier own areas and fed thier findings into the discussion at the round table session. The organisations that attended the meeting on 4 March, and the written submissions which they provided were as follows -
Additional written submissions were also received from -
The Committee then took evidence from Heriot Watt University on their research into food banks which was commissioned by the Scottish Government.
Read the Heriott Watt University report on food banks
After the round-table discussion on 4 March, it was decided that the Committee wanted to hold a further session looking into food banks. This session took place on 29 April in a second round-table discussion. The organisations that attended this meeting, and the written submission which were provided were as follows -
Read transcript of the discussion on 29 April 2014
Following the meeting, the Trussell Trust contacted Neil Couling, Work Services Director for the Department for Work and Pensions who also attended the 29 April meeting and gave evidence on benefit sanctions after the round-table discussion on food banks had concluded. The Trussell Trust requested clarification on certain comments and assertions about the Trussell Trust which Neil Couling had made during the evidence session. The Committee then wrote to Neil Couling requesting a response to the points raised by the Trussell Trust, this letter and the response from Neil Couling can be viewed below.
Further correpondence following 29 April meeting.
Correspondence followng report:
Note of food banks visits during Scotland Week 2014.
To conclude its inquiry the Committee published a report of its findings on the topic of food banks and welfare reform on 2 June 2014.
Food banks and Welfare Reform Report