Island families who are going short of food due to coronavirus are to get support from the Scottish Government via Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, it was announced yesterday (Sunday 5 April).
The money is a share of a £30 million Scottish Government food fund being distributed by COSLA as one part of the £350 million Communities Fund to support those struggling. The Western Isles has been allocated £147,000 from the fund.
Announcing the funding yesterday, communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “This pandemic is impacting on all our lives but for some it is more than a disruption, it is severely restricting their ability to access food for themselves and their families.
“It is vital that we work together to ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities receive the support they need. Local authorities are uniquely placed to respond swiftly in partnership with community groups and organisations to help those struggling.
“This fund will help ensure the most vulnerable people in our society during this outbreak receive support. The guidance shared with local authorities today supports local thinking about how funding can best be targeted and deployed.”
Councils will have flexibility to use this additional resource in ways that best meet emerging local needs and circumstances, working with community groups and businesses to support home delivery, provide financial help and meet dietary
Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed the announcement. He said: “The coronavirus outbreak has brought enormous disruption to all of our lives, and unfortunately as a result some people will be concerned about accessing food.
“This investment will help those most risk, such as older people and children eligible for free school meals, to access food through this unprecedented crisis.
“Free school meals are vital for families across the islands and are an important way of ensuring children receive the nutritious food they need. That is why it is so important that support continues while schools remain closed. This is just one part of
the support the Scottish Government is providing to individuals and businesses to protect jobs and incomes.”