More Scots are relying on emergency grants to help with the costs of eating and heating, with almost £10million handed out in just three months.

From April to June 2019, local authorities provided £6.7m of community care grants – which can be used to help families facing “exceptional pressure” - with money going to 11,035 individuals.

A further £3m was paid out in crisis grants, according to the Scottish Welfare Fund, 28% more than in the same period last year and helping a total of 32,995 people.

Grants for food totalled almost £1.8m over the period, while £596,000 was also awarded to help people pay for essential heating costs.

Meanwhile, the value of grants handed out for nappies, toiletries and other household products increased to more than £18,000.

Spending on community care grants was 9% higher than it was for April to June 2018.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the payment details were “yet more signals of how much families are struggling”.

The SNP MSP warned: “In the face of UK Government cuts and with the threat of a no-deal Brexit still alive, the risk is real that tens of thousands more people could be pushed into poverty in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government will not stand by and let people who are already struggling continue to face a reliance on food banks and the stress of debt and rent arrears.”

But Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said the number of people asking for help from their local authority while councils are facing “real-term cuts” is “extremely concerning”.

He continued: “The SNP cannot continue to starve the Scottish Welfare Fund and the local authorities tasked with paying grants out.”