SCOTLAND's biggest food bank had to turn away ­families after running out of food as the number of poverty-stricken Scots asking for help reaches its highest level ever.

Glasgow City Mission, which normally gives out food parcels to more than 100 people a week, will reopen today.

Fundraising manager Graham Steven said it was devastating to have to tell those who turned up last Wednesday they should go elsewhere.

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The Trussell Trust, which operates the largest network of food banks in the UK, said the number of families asking for help in January alone was equal to half the number using the services in the whole of 2013. More than 7700 people in Scotland were helped in January, compared with 14,138 in 2012/13.

Ewan Gurr, Scotland development officer for the trust, said: "You meet the people and you hear their stories and you think this is just fundamentally wrong. It shouldn't be happening."

According to Trussell Trust statistics, 25% of those who used a food bank in Scotland in January cited benefit delays as the reason for referral, while 22% were struggling with a low income. Benefit changes such as sanctions accounted for 17% of referrals.

The UK Government insists there is "no robust evidence" that welfare reforms are linked to increasing food bank use.