A food bank has seen a huge demand for its “warm” services as people struggle to heat their homes.

Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels is welcoming anyone who needs respite from the cold with its new “warm hub” which offers soup, hot water bottles, blankets, and somewhere “cosy” to visit.

It comes as a cost-of-living crisis has plunged the country into the worst economic crisis since the 1970s.

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As previously reported by the Glasgow Times, the West Dunbartonshire food bank went from serving 57 families in February to 458 in August.

Boss Maureen Cummings, 55, is now desperate to keep helping those in need and break down the stigma of asking for help.

She said: “I noticed people aren’t in a hurry to leave the food bank anymore. People used to run in and grab their stuff and go but it isn’t like that now.

“They might have been embarrassed before and just wanted to leave but now they need the heat, there has been a big demand.

“We have also worked hard to break down the stigma of our service and made it a welcoming space.

“We have homemade soup and blankets for people as well as cups of tea and the heating on.

“The place is really cosy. We have jigsaw puzzles as well just as a reminder to people that you don’t need to be in a hurry to leave.

“People can connect to the wifi or take a book. There is no time limit. Everyone is encouraged to visit if they need us.”

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Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels was set up by Maureen and her husband in 2020 during lockdown as she and Gordon, 56, wanted to help their community.

They began delivering prescriptions but noticed there was also a need for food and grew their mission.

Now the pair have fed more than 14,000 people and are desperate to keep helping those in need.

This year saw them provide for 61 households in January, 57 in February, 107 in March, 283 in April, 364 in May, 384 in June, 229 in July, and 458 in August.

There is no criteria that users must meet before being helped as its “open door policy” is available to anyone who asks.

It also doesn't use a queue system for parcels but has instead created a cafe area where people can have a free sandwich and cup of tea while they wait.

Now they are looking for hot water bottles and reusable liquid containers so they can give people soup to go.

Maureen said: “As soon as I realised there was a demand, we set up the warm hub last week.

“We are winging it, just like when we started our food bank at the start of the pandemic.

“We can offer the venue to the council who need to pass policies on it but in the meantime we decided to do it ourselves as people are hungry and cold.

“The hub gives them a hot mug and lets them enjoy music and chat. The entire thing is bittersweet really.

“It is good to be helping people but sad that the service is needed.

“We are looking for hot water bottles or any form of heat pads, also reusable travel mugs with lids would be great.

“It would let us give people soup to take away, but we can’t afford the containers, so any help with that would be really appreciated.”

You can donate through its Amazon wish list by clicking here or visit the hub at Unit 5, Industrial Estate, 5 Station Road, Old Kilpatrick, G60 5LP.

You can also contact Maureen for help on 07368494836.