SCOTLAND is the only part of the UK to see a "significant" drop in people requiring emergency food bank parcels, the Trussell Trust has revealed.

The Scottish Government’s £10 per week payment to low-income families has been named as one of the reasons for the drop.

The benefit is unique to Scotland and has the ability to benefit around 133,000 children according to forecasts from the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

The payment supports low-income families with children aged under six, providing regular additional financial support for families in receipt of qualifying benefits to assist with the costs of caring for a child.

In the last six months, the number of emergency parcels issued by the Trussell Trust network decreased in Scotland, compared to the same period in 2019.

The National:

Between April and September this year, 84,55 food parcels were distributed in the country, with 29,989 to children, a drop of around 25% on 2019’s figures.

The need for food banks has dropped across the UK since 2020, but other regions have seen an increase since pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

READ MORE: Scottish ministers propose shopping vouchers as a food bank alternative

In London, emergency food parcels have risen by as much as 48%, while Wales has seen an increase of 5%.

It comes after the UK Government was warned that its cut to Universal Credit (UC) will send hundreds of thousands, including thousands of children, into poverty, potentially increasing the need for food banks across Britain.

The Tories were also warned that the cut to UC, which happened in September, would have a "neutralising" effect on the Scottish Child Payment.

The SNP has said it plans on doubling the payment to £20 per week  “as early within the life of the Parliament as possible” - the same amount the Tories cut Universal Credit by.

The Trussell Trust report stated: "Lower percentage increases should not necessarily be interpreted as demonstrating lower levels of need in these areas.

"Data collected by YouGov in the 30 days to mid-August 2021 amongst the UK population shows that, for instance, reported use of food banks in Scotland is not lower than the UK average and in fact may be slightly higher.

"This finding is reinforced when looking at the most recent data from the Food Foundation from August 2021.

"This survey found that levels of food insecurity in Scotland remained high (10.3%) and were comparable to Northern Ireland (11%) and Wales (12.6%).”

The report goes on to state however that food bank data shows Scotland is an outlier as the only area of the UK to experience a “significant” 25% decrease since the same period in 2019.

The National: Number of emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust network. Source: The Trussell TrustNumber of emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust network. Source: The Trussell Trust

The report adds: "Different policy interventions in Scotland to boost the income of people in receipt of social security may have impacted on the levels of need for food banks in this period.

“In February 2021, the Scottish Government introduced the Scottish Child Payment (SCP) to support eligible families with the costs of living.

"While we are yet to see evidence of the impact the SCP has had on supporting low-income families, previous research suggests that the increase in income for families with children who have accessed the payment could result in a decrease in the need for emergency food parcels.

“Significant evidence exists to show that increasing the value of benefits reduces overall levels of need for food banks."

READ MORE: Food bank donations are needed now more than ever as benefit cuts bite

Trussell Trust food bank use in Scotland shows that an equivalent 460 parcels are being delivered every day, with 7% of people in Scotland saying they have used a food bank or similar service in the 30 days to mid-August 2021.

Data from the Scottish Welfare Fund also shows that the number of people applying for crisis grants in the April-June period of 2021 is lower than the equivalent figure in 2020, but is still significantly higher than the same period in 2019.

Trussel Trust data shows Glasgow to be the Scottish city most in need of food parcels, 14,237 being distributed between April and September 2021.

Edinburgh was second with 8974, South Lanarkshire third with 5963 and Dundee fourth with 5628 being distributed within the same period.