Struggling Dundee families flocked to foodbanks in the city over the festive period.
And bosses at the foodbank have admitted it could be the busiest year ever since the service was introduced to help people cope with financial hardship.
Dundee Foodbank boss Ken Linton reckons the demand is going to increase even more as the winter weather bites and families are forced to choose from heating or eating.
He said: “There has definitely been a step up in demand this year.
“There always is a big rise in numbers over Christmas and once it gets colder it will go higher again.
“That’s because people are having to choose between heating and eating. They have to make that decision when it gets colder and obviously they make the decision to heat their property which costs money and there’s not a lot left for food and that’s when they come to ourselves.”
Mr Linton blamed the problems with Universal Credit delays and cuts in benefits which have had a huge impact on families battling to make ends meet.
He added: “Universal Credit is very much a factor and I think it will continue to be so.
“I have no idea what the official figures are for this year at our food banks in Albert Street, Menzieshill, St Mary’s and Whitfield.
“I have not had time to have a look at that side of things and I won’t know for another week or so but there’s definitely been a step up in demand.”
The Dundee Foodbank, which is open from Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm, was boosted by generous donations from football fans.
Dundee United’s community trust teamed up with Taught by Muhammad and the foodbank to have volunteers set up collection points at Tannadice. They asked fans from United and Ayr United to donate non-perishable items and set up a facebook page for money donations.
The collection gathered more than 600 kilos of food and more than £3,000 in money pledges.
A DWP spokesperson said: “The reasons for people using food banks are complex.
“With Universal Credit people can get paid urgently if they need it and 95% of payments are made in full and on time.”