A COOKBOOK has been launched to help thousands of desperate families who have to rely on food banks due to cruel welfare cuts.

Strathclyde University business students Mhairi Cameron, 20, and Pamela McCorgray, 22, came up with the idea while volunteering at Glasgow South East Food Bank.

The pair spent three months devising and trying out tasty recipes made from handouts given to those in need.

It’s hoped the free recipes for dishes such as fish pie and chicken risotto will allow people to make better use of the threeday emergency food parcels. Mhairi said: “When we started volunteering, we quickly realised that people struggle to make decent meals.

“The items are basic but we knew there had to be a way to make them go further and last longer. We started cooking at home and were able to come up with some cheap, healthy and filling meals.”

Strathclyde University backed their idea and printed more than 100 of the recipes – with plans to produce more.

Pamela said: “I love cooking and wanted to find a way to help people who rely on donations from food banks.

“The dishes are all easy to follow and don’t cost much to make. They can be made from the items in the food parcels and we’ve received amazing feedback.”

We revealed yesterday that the use of food banks in Scotland has soared to record levels.

In the past year, the Trussell Trust reported a 17 per cent increase in people depending on their help, with 170,625 three-day emergency food parcels handed to those in crisis – of which 55,038 went to children.

The Scottish rise was higher than the UK’s average 13 per cent increase.

Data for 2017-18 shows benefit delays and sanctions remain the biggest reason for people being referred.

The Trussell Trust say thousands of people in work are also being driven to food banks due to low pay, employers who fail to pay on time and problems getting in-work benefits.

Debt accounted for eight per cent of referrals in the past year.

Evidence collected from food banks shows that, on average, people need help twice a year.

Marie Allis, who has received support from the charity, said: “An unexpected bill I had to pay left me short of money for food. …

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