Cash First for Fife families

Cllr Linda Erskine

Fife has been successful in a bid for funding from the Scottish Government which will see families benefit from a “cash first “ approach.

The Cash First Fund aims to reduce the need for emergency food parcels and food banks and will provide help to low-income families.

Cllr Linda Erskine, Spokesperson for Communities and Leisure, said: “The cost of living has had a huge impact on families across Fife, with many now in really difficult financial positions. This funding will help us to support them in a more sustainable way with real changes in the way services are delivered.”

Fife is one of eight Local Authorities across Scotland who have been successful in being awarded funding from the Scottish Government two-year Cash-First Fund. This funding is to support local partnerships to collaborate and deliver activities that improve urgent access to cash in a crisis and will generate evidence that can be shared to inform future policy and practice. Fife has been awarded £200,000 over two years with an additional £29,000 being awarded from the Fife Whole Family Wellbeing Fund for a co-ordinator.

The work will contribute to the Scottish Government’s ambition of ending the need for food banks in Scotland.

Cllr Erskine continued: ““It is a disgrace that in this day and age families are having to rely on foodbanks to survive, as a councillor I have witnessed the embarrassment and indignity felt by individuals who need to use our food support across Fife.  I have personally seen more and more constituents who are suffering from in work poverty . We want to change this trend and put services in place which will help people to get out of this dreadful situation.

“One of the ways we can do this is by supporting collaborative working between the different sectors and services that help people experiencing hardship, to improve access to emergency financial assistance as the first port of call in a crisis – this is known as a cash-first response (“cash-first”). “

Providing money advice and holistic support services alongside cash-first responses can help to prevent future hardship. Taken together, these actions can help to maintain dignity for those experiencing hardship by enabling them to have a choice over how to access the food and other essentials they need and can start to reduce the need for emergency food parcels.

Fife Council  will be working in partnership with the Trussell Trust and The Poverty Alliance, along with other groups and  organisations.