Referrals to Dundee’s largest foodbank operator have increased by more than 55% in the last 12 months, with an average of 30 people given food parcels each day.
Official figures from the Trussell Trust, which operates Dundee Foodbank, reveal 11,231 three-day emergency food supplies were handed out in 2018-19.
The number of parcels handed out for adults this year, 7,719, is higher than the total given out for both adults and children last year, 7,234.
Foodbank bosses have blamed the new-style Universal Credit (UC) benefit, which makes claimants wait up to five weeks for payment, for the 55% spike in requests for help.
Ken Linton, manager of Dundee Foodbank, said: “The main referral reasons are still the change in benefits to UC and low income – it’s as simple as that.”
Laura Ferguson, operations manager for Scotland at the Trussell Trust, added: “Universal Credit should be part of the solution but currently the five-week wait is leaving many without enough money to cover the basics.
“As a priority, we’re urging the government to end the wait for Universal Credit to ease the pressure on thousands of households.”
The increase in referrals in Dundee is the second-highest across Scotland, with only Orkney experiencing a larger growth. Tele analysis of the figures shows Dundonians are almost twice as likely to seek a food parcel as people living elsewhere in Scotland.
There were around 75 three-day parcels given out for every 1,000 people in the city, compared with a national rate of 38 per 1,000.
The Department for Work and Pensions said it was “not true” that claimants need to wait five weeks for UC payments.
However, this is only true if claimants apply for an advance on their first payment.