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Daily Record
Daily Record
Jacob Rawley

Top 10 Scottish areas where people could struggle to access affordable food

A consumer group has warned that the "cost of food crisis" could have a serious impact on certain Scottish areas.

Which? worked alongside the University of Leeds to identify the places around the UK where households are most likely to be in need of extra support to put food on the table.

It comes as food inflation soars to a record 11.6 percent, with the list topped by areas where there is a combination of low income and little access to cheap shopping options among other factors.

In Scotland, the places in highest need of support are in the Central Belt, with the list topped by North Ayrshire and Arran.

However, there is also a notable concentration in and around Dundee where there is relatively poor access to online food deliveries and people are more likely to be suffering from fuel poverty - as well as operating on a low income.

Sue Davies, Which? Head of Food Policy, said: "We know that millions of people are skipping meals through the worst cost of living crisis in decades but our new research tells us where around the UK support is most urgently needed.

"The supermarkets have the ability to take action and make a real difference to communities all around the UK.

"That’s why we’re calling on them to ensure everyone has easy access to budget food ranges that enable healthy choices, can easily compare the price of products to get the best value and that promotions are targeted at supporting people most in need."

The top 10 Scottish areas most at risk in the cost of food crisis

Constituency Number of local areas in constituency Proportion of local areas that are priority places Rank (of 59 Scottish constituencies
North Ayrshire and Arran 129 68.2% 1
West Dunbartonshire 121 64.5% 2
Kilmarnock and Loudoun 127 63.8% 3
Glasgow North East 113 60.2% 4
Glenrothes 121 59.5% 5
Inverclyde 114 58.8% 6
Glasgow South West 108 57.4% 7
Glasgow East 117 51.3% 8
Glasgow North West 106 50.0% 9
Dundee West 110 41.8% 10

Which? based their rankings on areas with the highest percentage of priority places, which have been uncovered by the Consumer Research Data Centre at the University of Leeds.

What is a priority place?

A priority place as a local area that has low income and little access to affordable food (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Factors such as low income, poor access to affordable food, having no large supermarkets nearby, a lack of online shopping deliveries or circumstances such as no car access make it difficult to shop around and can all make it difficult for people to find healthy and affordable food.

All these elements have been combined to create a Priority Places for Food Index with local areas ranked by the likelihood of people needing support in order to have access to affordable and healthy food.

Which? define a priority place as a local area in the lowest 20 percent of places in the Priority Places for Food Index.

Michelle Morris, Associate Professor Nutrition and Lifestyle Analytics, University of Leeds, said: "With so many people in the UK already suffering from food insecurity and the cost of living crisis making that much worse, we need to do all that we can to support those most in need to access affordable, healthy and sustainable foods.

"That is why we have developed the Priority Places for Food Index in collaboration with Which?. Our interactive map makes it easy to identify neighbourhoods most in need of support and highlights the main reasons that they need this support, recognising that one size does not fit all and that tailored help is required."

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