A MAN had been surviving on just water for four days before he went to a Glasgow foodbank for help.

He had no cash for food and had run out of credit for gas and electricity while he waited for a new Universal Credit benefit claim to be processed.

Crookston Community Foodbank told of his case and revealed they are handing out 500 food parcels a week to people struggling to survive with a benefits system they say is designed to frustrate people.

Nasreen Ali, chair of the foodbank, said they have seen a 20% increase in demand for help since November last year.

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Universal Credit was introduced in the south west in September, last year which the foodbank does not think is a coincidence the rise followed soon after.

She said: “He had no food, electricity or gas for four days. All he had was water. As soon as he came in, we gave him tea and some food.

“The man had been making excuses to his ex-wife so he didn’t have to take his children because he couldn’t afford to feed them.

We gave him £10 for gas and £10 for electricity from out own money to help him straight away.”

She said he returned for help another two times before he got back into work.

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Ms Ali said the man had always worked but then lost his job and when he needed the welfare system it wasn’t there to help him.

He had been placed on Universal Credit and had to wait weeks before he was able to receive any payments and ran out of money for essential bills and food.

She said: “We are picking up the pieces for Universal Credit. I don’t know what would have happened to that man had he not come to us for help.

“He wasn’t told that he could have asked for an emergency payment. People are not being told about this.”

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She said that one day recently they had a queue of 90 people outside the foodbank waiting for it to open.

Such is the problem with food poverty the foodbank started a holiday lunch club for children during the summer last year.

Ms Ali said there was between 50 and 80 children every day and the most they fed was 83 children on one day.

The catchment area only covered two local primary schools.

She added: “Some kids were asking if they could take food that was left home with them.”