The number of children living in poverty in Barrhead is at record levels according to new government figures.

Figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) last week show that 1,368 young people in the town are being brought up by low income families, compared to 1,047 in 2015 – a 30% jump in more than a decade.

The figures, which include the Liboside and Uplawmoor areas, also show a steep rise in child poverty in the last 12 months, up from 1,136 cases in 2021.

Ken Trench, manager of the East Renfrewshire Foodbank in Barrhead, said the stats did not surprise him and they have had to buy in more food to meet increasing demand.

He added: “We have seen more and more families coming to us for food parcels, particularly in the past year.

“Many are coming to us for the first time.

“This in turn is putting far more strain on our stock as the parcels are far bigger.

“The cost of living, particularly energy prices, is impacting on parents trying to make what little money they have stretch.

“Small families are now our biggest customers and we have fed 325 in the last three months.”

The DWP report broke down the number of children aged 16 and under, living in relative and absolute low-income families.

Relative low income is a measure of whether the poorest families are keeping pace with middle-income households.

Absolute low-income measures if the poorest families are keeping pace with inflation.

Overall, 22% of children in the Barrhead area (768) live in relative poverty and 17% (600) live in absolute poverty.

Child poverty in neighbouring Newton Mearns South and Neilston is also rocketing.

The same report revealed 818 kids in low-income families last year compared to 550 in 202 – an increase of almost 50%.

The area of East Renfrewshire with the lowest level of child poverty is Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood with 509 cases, around seven percent of all children.

However, the number of children in low-income families there is also rising, up from 426 cases in 2015.

A Scottish Government spokesperson added:“We recognise too many people are living in poverty.

“In this financial year, we have allocated almost £3 billion to a range of measures which will help mitigate the impacts of the cost of living crisis on households.”

The areas which the highest level of child poverty in Scotland are in Glasgow at 57.5% followed North Ayrshire at 51.5%.

A total of 189,000 children live in low-income families in Scotland.