Generous Derbyshire shoppers have helped a food store giant to donate more than 60,000 items to people in need.
They responded to an appeal launched by Central England Co-operative to provide emergency food to individuals and families in crisis.
Donations by store customers across 16 counties resulted in 5,500 food parcels – made up of around 11 items – providing more than 16,000 meals to people in need.
Martyn Cheatle, Central England Co-operative chief executive, said: “Everyone involved with the society has been delighted with the amazing response by customers and members.
“As a co-operative, we are proud to be able to be able to support the great work of local foodbanks across our trading area during the festive season and throughout the year.
“In five weeks, we helped collect over 60,000 items, provide 16,000 meals to those in crisis and make a real difference in our communities.
“Following the success of the Christmas Foodbank Appeal, we want to appeal to our customers and members to continue to support our foodbanks throughout 2018 to help provide meals for people in need all year round.
“Everyone at Central England Co-op would like to thank our members and customers for their generosity and supporting us in this project.”
An average of six items were donated per bag and this included items such as tea and cereals to essentials such as toiletries and hygiene products.
Paul Brookhouse, from the Hope Centre, in Derby, operates a weekly foodbank for people in need in the city.
He said: “Although it saddens me that there are so many local people in need of food, the wonderful kindness of the Central England Co-Operative customers is truly uplifting.”
“On behalf of all the people they have helped I would like to say a big thank you.”