Ending the need for food banks: a draft national plan

Closed 25 Jan 2022

Opened 20 Oct 2021

Feedback updated 15 Dec 2022

We asked

A consultation on the Scottish Government’s Draft Plan for Ending the Need for Food Banks ran on Citizens Space between 20 October 2021 and 25 January 2022. The consultation comprised a set of six questions, which sought respondents’ views on the approach, current and proposed actions, what more needs done, and how impact will be measured. 10 workshops were also held to engage participants with lived experience of food insecurity and people with direct experience of delivering services.

View the original consultation paper.

You said

406 consultation responses were received and 35 people took part in workshops. Most agreed that the approach outlined in the Draft Plan is consistent with the wider vision to end poverty and the need for food banks, with some commenting on the scale of the task. Some also commented on the opportunities for social contact and onward referral to other services that can be gained from  food banks.

Most of the respondents said they thought the actions underway would help to reduce the need for food banks, specifically measures to improve incomes. However some felt actions needed to go further, particularly given current cost of living crisis.

Most agreed the new actions outlined would help reduce the need for food banks, particularly the focus on cash-first approaches and effective support pathways. However, some noted that to be effective significant resources would be required. Mixed views were expressed on the use of shopping cards as an alternative to food bank referrals. Some were supportive, noting it as a reasonable short-term measure, offering more choice and flexibility to the users but the importance of avoiding stigma from using the cards was emphasised. Others were not supportive of this action and felt it a distraction from efforts to boost incomes. More detail was sought on exit strategies for food banks, as well as timescales for action.

Suggestions for what more could be done included: improving value and uptake of entitlements; improving crisis responses including through access to the Scottish Welfare Fund and wider holistic support services; and improving access to quality jobs.

Most agreed with the approach to measuring impact and some further suggestions were made including using qualitative data from people with lived experience of food insecurity and delivering services.

Some other issues were raised, including issues relating to the impact of geographical or equalities factors on food insecurity.

We did

We have published non-confidential responses to the consultation and an independent analysis of the consultation responses. The independent analysis of the consultation responses can be found here.

Work is now underway to finalise the Scottish Government’s Plan for Ending the Need for Food Banks, taking on board the learning gathered through this consultation and reflecting the changed cost of living crisis context. A final version of the Plan will be published this winter.

The Scottish Government has allocated almost £3 billion in this financial year that will be helping households face the increased cost of living, including £1 billion in providing services and financial support not available elsewhere in the UK.

We have launched a new website with information on the range of help available: www.costofliving.campaign.gov.scot

On 2 November, the Deputy First Minister presented our Emergency Budget Review, this reflects a number of difficult decisions that have been necessary in order to prioritise help for those who need it most and protect essential public services in the context of the cost of living crisis.

Results updated 15 Dec 2022

This consultation closed on 25 January 2022, and an independent anlaysis of responses is available: Ending the need for food banks - draft plan: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The draft national plan sets out what the Scottish Government are currently doing and what more we intend to do, alongside others, to end the need for food banks as a primary response to food insecurity.

The consultation questions will help us to identify further practical action that can be taken at all levels to deliver this vision. We are inviting responses to this consultation by 25 January 2022.

Read the consultation paper

Easy Read

An Easy Read version of the consultation paper is available. Easy read sumbissions should be sent to foodinsecurityteam@gov.scot alongisde a completed respondent information form. Alternatively these can be mailed to: Tackling Food Insecurity Team, Scottish Government, 2J North Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ

Why your views matter

The consultation seeks views on the Scottish Government's vision and approach to ending the need for food banks as a primary response to food insecurity, and invites further suggestions on what more can be done to shape a national plan. Views are sought by 25 January 2022.

What happens next

Thank you for pariticipating, we will consider these views in developing a final version of this plan which we intend to publish in 2022.



  • Communities and Third Sector
  • Equality, Welfare and Rights