A record number of people in Scotland used food banks over the Christmas week, it has been claimed.
The Trussell Trust estimates more than 7,000 people needed help in the third week of December, representing a sharp increase on previous years.
It claimed food bank use had grown by 17 per cent in the past six months.
Ewan Gurr, Scotland network manager of the Trussell Trust, said that 7,000 men, women and children accessing three-day emergency food supplies over the Christmas week was a “conservative estimate”.
He said the third week of December was the busiest week of the year and in 2014 there were 5,818 people who used food banks in Scotland.
He said: “Over the past four years we have seen a consistent increase in Scotland. It is not decreasing.”