North-east organisations have backed plans to find out how families are dealing with food poverty across Scotland.
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has launched a survery examining issues relating to the cost, choice, access and quality of food.
It has emerged so far that 33% of people have skipped meals at least once in the past year due to a lack of cash.
More than a quarter (28%) of those surveyed said they had been forced to go hungry over the same period between one in six times.
Since opening in June this year, 1,552 emergency food supplies have been handed out at the Aberdeenshire North Foodbank in Peterhead.
This has helped feed 2,849 people, including children. It was only opened on a temporary basis in the Buchan town to help feed residents.
Debbie Rennie, manager of the organisation, said: “We log the reasons people use the foodbank with a voucher system to see why they were referred.
“In Peterhead, the top four reasons so far this year are benefit changes, benefit delays, low income or debts.
“I support this survey because it will lead to more information about food poverty and the reasons behind it.”
Staff at the Youth Encounter Cafe in Peterhead have also spoken out in support of the survey.
Martin Danziger is creative director for Circus Modo and the cafe providing people under the age of 25 a safe place to hang out with activities and volunteering opportunities.
He said: “When we started out, we soon became aware of how many children rely on free school meals and over the holidays in particular there were lots going without food.
“We began trying to make sure there was always something there for them to help them boost their calorie intake.
“If someone faces food poverty there’s probably a lot of other things they don’t have.”
An event will be held on September 22 from 10am to noon at the Peterhead CAB branch to help promote the questionnaire to make sure as many opinions are gathered as possible from residents.
Banff and Buchan CAB manager Jacqui Bruce said: “The Scottish CAB network is running this national survey and I want to make sure Banff and Buchan people form a big part of the total responses – the more responses we get the stronger our voice will be.”
The survey is available online at www.cas.org.uk/foodonthetable and copies are available in CAB centres.