SCOTLAND’S homeless and hungry have been given a further hand up by the Scottish Government as they battle against Covid-19. The Government has pledged £40 million more to the £70m Food Fund war chest already in place taking the total to £110m.

Social enterprise Social Bite has been awarded an additional £48,500 for its Covid-19 response, with its funding since April now totalling £700,000.

Social Bite started as a sandwich shop on Rose Street in Edinburgh in 2012 and has grown to a national homelessness charity.

Its social enterprise consists of five shops in Scotland, two large staff canteens in Edinburgh, a central production kitchen in Livingston and a corporate catering businesses. All of this infrastructure has been re-purposed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its team have delivered 500,000 food packs and meals to people in need in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow since April.

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Speaking following a visit to their central kitchen in Livingston, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Like many community groups and charities, Social Bite’s team have worked hard making and delivering meals as well as offering a free takeaway service for those most at risk.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported people through this time.

“Sadly, the demand for such services highlights the terrible impact of the pandemic on people from all walks of life.

“We have provided flexibility through our £110m funding to tackle food insecurity so people can access both cash and food-based support.

“This includes funding for free school meals over the summer holidays, food boxes for those who were shielding and support for people facing financial hardship. We have also more than doubled the Scottish Welfare Fund.

“Anyone worried about being able to access food should contact the National Helpline on 0800 111 4000.”

Josh Littlejohn, Social Bite’s co-founder and CEO, said: “As soon as the pandemic hit, we saw that food poverty was going to be a major issue for our most vulnerable communities, so we re-purposed Social Bite’s entire infrastructure to provide free food for those who needed it.”