GLASGOW Central station is to become Scotland's biggest food bank to help desperate families across the city.

A major 12-hour donation drive is being held at the country's busiest railway station and passengers are being urged to help.

Network Rail bosses stepped in after learning that Glasgow City Mission had run out of food for emergency hand-outs.

With a footfall of around 106,000 passengers every day, station managers say there is huge potential to help hundreds of poverty stricken families.

The food bank will be running next Thursday from 7am, to catch morning commuters, up to 7pm.

A collection point, staffed by rail workers, will be taking donations in the centre of the station, close to the clock. Last month Glasgow City Mission warned that stocks of emergency food rations at Scotland's biggest foodbank were almost completely depleted after a surge in demand.

Graham Steven, fundraising manager, made a plea for more donations including tinned meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.

The station foodbank was the brainchild of Central Station shift manager Chris O'Donnell and Customer Service Assistant Jim Frizzle.

Chris said: "We had read an article saying that Glasgow City Mission had run out of food and wanted to do something to help. We approached the charity with the idea of setting up a food bank at Central Station. I think they were a bit taken aback but delighted.

"There are 106,000 people going through the station every day. Even if we reached 1% of that total we could help so many people.

"Staff will take donations all day and our maintenance staff will deliver it to the charity base in Argyle Street."

Earlier this week, charities told a panel of MSPs that growing demand for food banks was "inextricably linked" to welfare reforms.

Thousands more people have turned to voluntary organisations for emergency food parcels, following changes to the benefits system that were introduced by the UK Government last April, the Scottish Parliament's Welfare Reform Committee heard.

Those who rely on food banks often walk for miles because they cannot afford to pay for transport, and many are given items that can be eaten cold because they are unable to pay for electricity to cook.

Denis Curran, chairman of Loaves And Fishes, a Glasgow-based charity that provides food parcels, agreed people were "walking three or four miles with children" to attend food banks.

The services are also being used by people who are employed on low incomes, and who are struggling with the rising cost of living.

The Trussell Trust has reported its food banks helped more than 56,000 people between last April and February 24.

The total for the previous 12 months was 14,318, including about 4000 children.