Don't be ashamed to seek help, struggling parents told

Parents struggling to feed their children are being encouraged to seek help from churches and other services that can support them through their hardship.

The Church of Scotland's Reverend Sally Foster-Fulton said the long summer holidays could be a challenging time for families in financial difficulty.

"With schools closed and hungry children at home there is the real possibility that many children from all parts of Scotland will spend the summer break not getting enough to eat – that is a shocking indictment on our country," she said.

"People may jokingly mock school dinners, but they provide essential basic nutrition and for many children they are the one substantial cooked meal they will get during the day.

"Although we are saddened and appalled at the inequality that leads so many families to struggle to get enough to eat we are proud to be working across Scotland with colleagues from many faiths in running food banks where people can get the essentials for life."

Hundreds of foodbanks have been set up at churches across the UK by Christian charity the Trussell Trust.

The trust has seen the number of people using emergency foodbanks in Scotland more than double in the last year, rising to 14,318 people.

People turning to the charity included those experiencing redundancy and unexpected bills.

Mrs Foster-Fulton added: "There is no stigma in getting help if you need it and I would urge people who think they would benefit from the services of a food bank to contact their local church or their local authority.

"Bad luck and unfortunate circumstances can happen to anyone. Food banks and other services can bridge the gap when families are finding times hard – so we urge them to be courageous and take that first step.

"The longer-term challenge will be in finding ways to bridge this poverty trap permanently. That will mean all of us being courageous enough to challenge our part in perpetrating inequality."