The head of a homelessness charity said he was shocked to see more than 10 children queuing up for hot food at a soup kitchen in Glasgow.
Colin McInnes, who co-founded Homeless Project Scotland in 2019, said it was “a reflection on politicians today”.
Mr MacInnes claimed there were little ones as young as three years old brought by their parents, as well as a child in a pram on Friday night.
He told Sky News: “It was a huge shock to us. My message to the politicians is: they need to step up and deal with this or step aside and let someone else deal with it.”
Homeless Project Scotland (HPS) runs a soup kitchen seven nights a week Glasgow Hillanman’s canopy next to Central Station in the city centre.
Mr McInnes claimed a mother made the journey from Paisley in Renfrewshire more than 10 miles away to stock up on food.
The head of the charity added that he had noticed more people filling the bags with food so they could freeze it for use later in the week.
He said: “We feed 310 people a day. We are the largest soup kitchen in Scotland, and what’s hard to understand is that it’s only 20 minutes from Nicola Sturgeon’s circuit.”
The first minister, an MSP on Glasgow Southside, was reportedly invited to visit the soup kitchen more than a year ago, but has not yet accepted the offer.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The First Minister regularly visits and engages with different organizations and groups to help inform the Scottish Government’s efforts to tackle homelessness, and the Minister for Housing visited the Homeless Project in Scotland last year.
“We are taking action to end homelessness in Scotland once and for all, working closely with the City of Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, including meeting with them regularly to keep abreast of developments in the city.”
The Scottish Government added that it is providing £52.5m to support local authorities in implementing the Housing and Housing First approach. Earlier this month, it announced an additional £2.4m to help those struggling to buy food amidst cost of living calamity.
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As well as the soup kitchen, Homeless Project Scotland also distributes free phone call SIM cards and hygiene packs to those in need.
At the weekend, the charity’s street team is sent to Edinburgh After reporting a “high level” of rough sleepers to her helpline.
Sky News has contacted Edinburgh City Council for comment.
MacInnes said: “Edinburgh was absolutely dreadful. People walking around with quilts under their arms – a quilt under your arm and a bulging berth is not a home.”
the ScotlandA worldwide charity, with 1,800 volunteers, uses money donated by members of the public to buy and cook food for a soup kitchen in Glasgow.
It is currently looking for a building to set up a social care center that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“It might give people hope and that sense of warmth that someone cares about them. We’re not looking for a building for free, just an affordable building,” McInnes said.
The charity is appealing to Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Government and private landlords for help.
Glasgow City Council said it had tried to find a building, but none of the options had yet been considered suitable by the charity.
A spokesperson said: “We have tried to find a suitable building for HPS to host the evening soup kitchen, but they have rejected all three options offered to them.
“HPS recently told us that they now want a venue that can be open around the clock with a capacity of more than 200 people.
“We are very sorry, but we do not have a venue that complies with the revised requirements outlined by HPS.”