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Food Insecurity

Food poverty/insecurity has become a subject of key policy concern in Scotland and the UK in recent years. This section presents information on food insecurity in Scotland.

Monitoring food insecurity in Scotland

The Scottish Government committed to monitoring household food insecurity in 2016, following recommendations from an Independent Short-Life Working Group on Food Poverty. Three priority questions from the UN Food Insecurity Experience Scale were included in the 2017 and 2018 Scottish Health Surveys, and will be included in the 2019 Scottish Health Survey. The 2017 Scottish Health Survey showed that 8% of adults experienced food insecurity in the preceding 12 months, defined as worrying about running out of food due to lack of money or other resources. Food insecurity data from the 2018 Scottish Health Survey will be published in September 2019. From March 2019 onwards, food insecurity will be measured in the UK-wide Family Resources Survey, with the first data published in March 2021.

Monitoring of food insecurity informs the food insecurity indicator in the National Performance Framework, and is in line with Goal 2 of the UN Sustainable Development Goal. You can track progress of the Food Insecurity National Performance Indicator here: National Performance Framework 

You can access the report from the Independent Short-Life Working Group on Food Poverty here: Dignity: Ending Hunger Together in Scotland (published June 2016)

Scotland’s ‘National Food and Drink Policy; Becoming a Good Food Nation’ aims to ensure everyone in Scotland has access to the healthy, nutritious food they need. You can find out more about Good Food Nation here: Good Food Nation policy


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