Charities call for action as food bank users soar

Charities have called for urgent action to tackle poverty after visits to foodbanks in one part of Scotland rose by more than 50% last month.

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There were 358 visits to Foodshare's three outlets in West Dunbartonshire in January, up from 237 in December 2013 - an increase of 51%.

Of those users giving a reason for their visit, more than a third (36%) said it was due to having their welfare payments sanctioned and others cited financial pressures and rising utility bills.

Oxfam Scotland said it was deeply concerned at the figures released by West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare, one of its Scottish partners.

Jamie Livingstone, acting head of Oxfam Scotland, said: "Foodbanks are both a lifeline and a symptom of fundamental failure."

Danny McCafferty of West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare, said: "Charitable organisations have been torn between letting people starve, or intervening through the establishment of foodbanks."

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