Simply Scran: Open Letter

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NEEDS NOW: Simply Scran An open letter to the First Minister and the Scottish Government We are writing to you over our concerns regarding the devastating impact of hunger in our communities. We call on you to take immediate action to ensure:

1. Families on low incomes can afford basic necessities, by committing to the Scottish Child Payment retaining (at least) it's soon to be £25 a week value in real terms next year and working with Local Authorities to wipe out all School Meal debt burdening families. 2. No child or young person starts school too hungry to learn, through a clear commitment and actionable plan for the national roll out of school breakfast provision. 3. All children and young people can have a nutritious lunch, with an immediate review and acceleration of the roll out of universal free school meals in Primary Schools and piloting in Secondary Schools. 4. Communities can come together during crises by supporting access to spaces where they can cook and eat together. We welcome the doubling of the Bridging Payment for the Scottish Child Payment and the Scottish Government’s ambitions on the right to food and ending the need for food banks, as well as the positive action from Local Authorities towards writing off school meal debts owed. But urgent action is required. The cost crisis is soaring and economists warn of a looming UK wide recession. From parents and carers skipping meals to prioritise their families. From children and young people being too hungry to learn. From members of our communities not knowing if they can afford their next meal. The Scottish Government must do everything in its power to prevent families from going deeper into crisis. “My kids would never go without, I would, but not them. Sometimes I only eat one meal a day…" (Parent supported by includem) 250,000 children and young people could be at risk of going to school too hungry to learn and the 1 demand for emergency food parcels is untenable. We are concerned over the delay to enact your promised commitment to extend universal free school meals for P6 and P7, as well as your lack of action on the roll out of universal access to breakfast in primary schools nationally. In 2022, we should not accept people going hungry through no fault of their own. We should all have access to three nutritious meals a day. We ask that you make a commitment to a clear accountable plan on the short- and medium-term response to the ongoing cost crisis and rising food insecurity. This can help ensure children grow up loved, safe, respected so they realise their full potential and that we all live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe - in line with the aims and intentions of the National Performance Framework. 1. Magic Breakfast, “Hidden Hunger: the State of UK breakfast provision in 2022” (April, 2022)

This letter is signed by the following organisations:

Martin Dorchester Chief Executive, includem

John Dickie Director, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland

Anne McCormack Chair, Broke Not Broken

Carolyn Sawers Chief Executive, Corra Foundation

Prof Nancy Loucks OBE Chief Executive, Families Outside

Dr Lindsey MacDonald Chief Executive, Magic Breakfast

Sara Redmond Chief Officer, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)

Jude Turbyne Chief Executive Officer, Children in Scotland

Fiona Dyer Director, CYCJ

Cathy Sexton Director, Fathers Network Scotland

Ian Bruce CEO, GCVS

Jacqui Flanagan Service Manager, LANDED

Satwat Rehman Chief Executive, One Parent Families Scotland

Suzanne Swinton CEO, Scottish Independence Advocacy Alliance

Ben Farrugia Director of Social Work Scotland

Sharon McAulay Chief Executive, Star Project

Peter Kelly Director, Poverty Alliance

Lorraine Gilles FRSA Chief Officer, SCSN

Jo Derrick CEO, Staf (Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum)

Juliet Harris Director, Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)

Polly Jones Head of Scotland, The Trussell Trust

Tim Frew Chief Executive, YouthLink Scotland

Jimmy Paul Director, WEAll Scotland

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