Speaking in the Scottish Parliament last week, Emma Roddick MSP highlighted the work of third sector organisations in providing support to vulnerable people across the Highlands and Islands over the course of the pandemic.
Noting in particular the efforts of the Highland Third Sector Interface (HTSI) in supporting charities across the region and signposting people to their nearest food provider, she shared her experiences of living in poverty and expressed her gratitude to charities across the Highlands and Islands.
“We need to continue to confront the stigmas that prevent people from requesting help. Poverty is not something that is shameful or deserving of reproach, and people in poverty need not only our help in escaping it but also an environment where they feel comfortable asking for that help.
“As someone who has used community fridges and foodbanks myself, I recognise the vital importance of charities that provide that help. During October recess, I visited a number of organisations across the Highlands and Islands which have spent the pandemic labouring away at ensuring that financial hardship does not force people to go hungry.
“I will always be grateful for their work, and the work of the HTSI in ensuring people know where to go to get food – whether that is a food bank in Inverness, an oyster delivery service in Kinlochbervie, or one of dozens of community fridges, cupboards and gardens across the Highlands.”