I attended a conference in Glasgow organised by A Menu for Change, a coalition of four charities including Poverty Alliance, Oxfam Scotland, CPAG Scotland and Nourish Scotland.
One section was given to the release of a report entitled Found Wanting, which sought to understand the journeys of people in and out of food insecurity, and carried out research including in Dundee.
While the report did not present anything revelatory for those working alongside people experiencing poverty, I appreciated the affirmation of the physical and psychological impacts of food insecurity. Too often, I know I have jumped to the institutional factors that influence poverty at the expense of reflecting deeply on the impact poverty has upon the individual.
The main observation I could not shake from the day, however, was the point at which a young lady from a Citizens Advice Bureau in Glasgow described the support she and her colleagues offered to a family who should have been entitled to Universal Credit but were not.
She recounted the moment that family sat eating tins of cold beans in their office.
Her experience reiterated an emerging consensus that projects are trying to balance increasing demand against decreasing resources.
Our voluntary sector is on the cusp of a breakdown and we need a national conversation to ensure we insulate those most likely to be tipped out of the boat by the oncoming storm.