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Supporting people in hardship

Published 06 August 2023

Access to cash in a crisis

Organisations at the frontline of helping people facing poverty and hardship can now apply for a share of government funding to help tackle food insecurity.

The £1.6 million Cash-First Fund is aimed at public sector and third sector partnerships to deliver cash grants for food and other essentials, helping to reduce the need for food parcels.

Up to £200,000 will be made available to partnerships including community food initiatives, local authority teams, and money advice services.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Taking a cash-first approach to tackling food insecurity means people can access the essentials they need while maintaining dignity. When this is delivered collaboratively, with advice and support to strengthen people’s income, it can also help prevent future hardship.

“Local public and third sector services know their communities best and are well-placed to support households in crisis, so I encourage them to work together and apply for the Cash-First Fund.

“Tackling poverty and protecting people from harm is a critical mission for this government and our actions are already making a difference to households, including some of our most vulnerable children, across Scotland. The Cash-First Fund is another important milestone on this journey and our learning from this will take us another step closer towards a Scotland without the need for food banks.”


Cash-First Fund: form and guidance

Public and third sector partnerships are invited to apply to the Cash-First Fund by 5pm on Friday 1 September.

Up to eight successful partnerships will each be provided with up to £200,000 over two years to deliver activities that improve urgent local access to cash in a crisis.

Scotland is the first nation in the UK to publish a plan towards ending the need for food banks, and this ambition is shared by food bank networks.

Anyone who is struggling financially can get advice through their local authority, a local advice service, Social Security Scotland or by visiting the Scottish Government’s cost of living website:

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