Our Right to Food: affording to eat well in Scotland

This project aims to make it easier for everyone in Scotland to afford the food that keeps them healthy and well. It starts by understanding what people in Scotland would choose as a healthy and enjoyable way to eat so that rights holders and decision makers can better identify how to make this accessible for all.

We are working alongside people who know what it is like to shop for, prepare and eat food in different household sizes across Scotland. Together, we will develop meal plans and shopping lists that reflect the realities of people’s lives and preferences, while aiming for a ‘good enough’ fit with Scotland’s dietary recommendations. We are developing this work with support from experts in social security, public health, nutrition, sustainability and human rights.


Image of groceries with mixed fruit, veg and bread.


Everyone should be able to afford food that keeps them healthy and well.

This does not mean that food should be cheap. It means wages and benefits should be high enough that people can afford the food that helps everyone in the family live a healthy life, without having to sacrifice on other basic needs like heating. 

So, if it’s not just about food prices, then how will we know what to do?

Local and national governments already make many decisions that affect how easy or difficult it is for people to afford food that keeps them healthy and well. For example the new Scottish Child Payment means that eligible families can access £40 every four weeks to help with the costs of raising a child under six, and prepaid Best Start Foods cards help eligible families buy healthy foods for children under three. At local level, things like reliable public transport and decisions about where shops are located can determine whether someone is able to afford a variety of healthy foods or be left with no choice but to eat less nutritious food that can be accessed nearby.

This project will help us understand what more is needed to ensure that everyone can afford the foods that keep them healthy and well. By working with rights holders across Scotland, we will develop shared ways to measure this progress.



Community Advisors

We are working alongside people who know what it is like to shop for, prepare and eat food in different parts of Scotland and in different sized households.

In the first phase of the project, we will be working with groups to develop shopping lists for:

  • A small family (single mum and two young children)
  • A large family (two adults and three or more children)

Community Advisors will work with the project team to develop a weekly shopping list for these family sizes that strikes a balance of foods that – 

  • Most people would enjoy
  • Keep the family members well (‘healthy enough’)
  • Are a reasonable price
  • Are a good fit for the family’s life 

What will Community Advisors do?    

Work with the project team to build a family’s weekly shopping list based on the following questions…

  • Who lives and eats in this this household?
  • When, where and how does the family eat?
  • What does the family eat in a typical week?
  • What would the family need to include in a weekly shopping list?

Once these shopping lists are developed, local and national decision-makers will be able to explore how accessible (geographically and financially) this is for people in different parts of Scotland. 

If you’re interested in becoming a Community Advisor, or you would like to hear more about getting involved with the project, please complete this online form.


Steering Group

Fruit and veg in shop

We are grateful to our steering group members for their advice and support for this project:

  • Action on Sugar
  • Broke Not Broken
  • City University
  • Food Standards Scotland
  • Food, Farming and Countryside Commission
  • Loughborough University
  • Making Rights Real
  • Obesity Action Scotland
  • Public Health Scotland
  • Robert Gordon University
  • Scottish Government
  • University of Ulster