MORE than 80,000 poverty-stricken households received emergency support grants from the Scottish Welfare Fund, during its first year of operation with a total of £29 million paid out.
A total of 56,000 households were given crisis grants to help with essentials such on food and heating costs - with the sum averaging around £70 per award.
There were also 33,000 households paid grants of about £640 to buy items such as furnishings and floor coverings, the figures for between April 2013 and March 2014, showed.
However, about £4 million of the £33 million Scottish Welfare Fund was unspent and will now be carried over for 2014-15, when a total of £37 million will be available.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “During its first year in operation the Scottish Welfare Fund has helped more than 80,000 households, including 26,000 families with children.
“A total of £29 million was allocated to households, providing a vital safety net to those in disaster and emergency situations.
“The funding is reaching those in the most deprived areas of Scotland, with around 50 per cent being awarded to applicants living in the 20 per cent most deprived areas in Scotland.”