Low income households have benefitted from £9.2 million in grants in the first three months of this financial year, thanks to the Scottish Welfare Fund.
New figures show that an additional £1.2 million was given to households to help them through difficult times between April and June 2016, compared to £8 million during the same period last year.
Since the scheme was set up in April 2013, £107 million worth of grants have been given to around 217,000 households in Scotland.
Around one-third of grants were given to households with children, while over half (54%) of those grants were given to single person households with no children.
The fund aims to help households during times of crisis, and can help them to buy everyday essential items like food, nappies or toiletries and to cover heating costs or other living expenses. Grants are also given to people facing disaster or emergency situations, such as flooding.
People can also be given support to live in their own homes where there’s a risk of homelessness or going into care or for families facing exceptional pressures – where funding can cover larger essential one-off items like washing machines or cookers.
Jeane Freeman, social security minister, said: “The Scottish Welfare Fund continues to provide a vital lifeline to people during their time of need and help buy everyday items, such as food or nappies, that many of us take for granted.
“This funding is essential to help people cope with the harsh ongoing cuts by the UK Government to the welfare system which is pushing more and more people into crisis.
“Since it was set up, support has been given to around 217,000 households across Scotland, and these figures show that it is helping to make sure funds get to those who need it most.
“This can be especially important in times of desperation or emergency, such as flooding, or when people have been affected by delays in benefits.”