A PARENT has painted a stark picture of poverty levels in East Lothian after revealing they were eating reduced portions to ensure their children had food on the table.

The cost-of-living crisis has seen poverty in East Lothian rising, with many households struggling to get by.

Challenging conditions have meant many homes have never experienced such levels of hardship before.

East Lothian Partnership, which involves groups such as the local authority and emergency services, have launched a consultation on plans for tackling poverty in the county.

One resident has already fed back to East Lothian Council and said: “I’ve been eating toddler portions to make sure my kids have enough.

“The kids laugh but I don’t.

“Nothing is easy and nothing is spared, even the bath water has to last for all of us.”

East Lothian Courier: A stark image has been painted of the impact of poverty in East Lothian. Image: NewsquestA stark image has been painted of the impact of poverty in East Lothian. Image: Newsquest

The new plan has four priorities: income from employment, income from benefits, cost of living support, and tackling climate change.

The priorities are then underpinned by ways of working across the East Lothian Partnership.

The group aims to address stigma, being trauma-informed, to work in partnership, and to make poverty everybody’s business.

The consultation runs until May 15 and members of the public are invited to comment on priorities and share their experiences of the cost of living crisis.

Councillor Colin McGinn, cabinet spokesperson for community wellbeing, described some of the situations as “heart-breaking”.

He said: “There are challenges of course, but we believe that everyone in East Lothian deserves to live a life free from poverty.

“We will strive to make sure that people have the opportunities and support needed for long term financial stability and be able to afford a decent standard of living.

“I would encourage everyone to have their say in helping us tackle poverty over the next three years.

“We need to hear your views and you can help us make sure the right support is available in the right places.”

The draft plan has been drawn up by a multi-agency group including representatives from key council services, NHS Lothian and community and voluntary groups.

The group is particularly keen to hear from communities and individuals who have been affected by increasing levels of poverty as a result of the cost of living crisis.

Views can be submitted by going to eastlothian.communitychoices.scot