A Dumbarton food bank has defended its decision to tell service users they will be restricted to visiting once a week after they received backlash online.

Food for Thought West Dunbartonshire took to social media on Monday to remind patrons they were only permitted to use the food bank premises once per week.

Despite this being a policy from when they started, Liz Gilchrist from the social enterprise admits they have often let things go to allow people to use their site at St Augustine's Community Hall on more than one occasion across the five days they are open.

But she explained they had to do something for the good of the wider community who require the food bank to get by.

Liz said: “We cannot sustain allowing people to use our food bank as their local shop.

“We just don’t have enough food.”

Liz insists some of the negative comments they received when announcing the enforcement “was not needed” but understands times are tough for people.

“It was always once a week,” she added.

“When it was originally set up, the idea was that it was once a week.

“But we kind of let that slide, but now we need to enforce it.

“We will still help people as much as we can but to keep going and reach as many people as possible who need the service, we need to keep it to once a week.”

The group also reiterated the rules around using the food bank service for four consecutive weeks, outlining locals would need a referral from a local authority organisation to verify their financial circumstances in order for further use.

Food for Thought finished by saying they make these decisions to encourage service users to work towards “self-sufficiency” and to allow fair access to all.