Local SNP MSP Adam Ingram has welcomed latest statistics which show more than 164,000 vulnerable households have been helped by the Scottish Welfare Fund.
The figures include around 54,000 families with children, who have received essential help to buy everyday products like nappies, food and cookers through the Scottish Welfare Fund.
Across South Ayrshire 8079 applications have been made to the fund since it launched in April 2013.
The fund consists of Crisis Grants – which provide a safety net to low income households in a disaster or emergency – and Community Care Grants, which help people to live independently.
More than two-fifths of grants were made to vulnerable households such as people with mental health problems, lone parents, disabled people, or those suffering from a chronic illness.
Mr Ingram said: “The Scottish Welfare Fund is a lifeline for people both here in South Ayrshire and across the country, helping people in desperate situations buy everyday items like food, shoes and beds, and keeping them afloat during worrying times.
“This fund has ensured vulnerable households across South Ayrshire have been able to buy essentials and in the last quarter alone 733 applications have been made.
“In the face of the UK Government’s continued budget cuts the Scottish Government is working hard to tackle poverty and the £296 million investment in welfare mitigation measures, extension to childcare and work to encourage employers to pay the Living Wage, is helping to increase income levels in Scotland. We need to close the inequality gap that exists in Scotland, which is why over the last few months, through the Scottish Government’s Fairer Scotland discussion, people with direct experience of poverty and exclusion have been asked to put forward their views on creating a fairer and more equal Scotland.
“These conversations are crucial because what we don’t want is a quick fix or temporary measures but long lasting change that can benefit the whole nation.”