Tesco shoppers in Cornwall have been given a big thank-you after providing more than 20,000 meals to support local food banks and frontline charities.

The 22,047 collected across the county between June 30 and July 2 was part of a total of 1.3 million meals donated by generous Tesco shoppers across the UK in large stores, with an additional 20 percent top-up added by Tesco.

The items of long-life food donated during the Tesco Food Collection have been shared with food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network, as well as frontline charities supplied with food by FareShare, to help support local people facing hunger.

In addition, shoppers donated cash to the charities by rounding up at the checkouts, with more than £328,000 being given during the collection week.

To further help the charities cope with increasing need for food, Tesco has expanded its network of permanent food collection points to all stores, all year round, so shoppers can continue to help local food banks and charities get the food they need.

These are now in Express stores as well as large stores and are usually located near the checkouts or exit. Food donated across all stores will go directly to a local Trussell Trust food bank or a charity supported by FareShare.

Claire de Silva, head of community at Tesco, said: “We’re so grateful to our generous customers who kindly do what they can to help their local food banks and charities during our food collection. We hope our year-round donation points, now across our smaller convenience stores too, will provide more ways for people to help by giving if they can”.

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell thanked shoppers in Cornwall for their support.

“The UK is currently facing a cost-of-living increase which is affecting more and more people,” he said. “FareShare is doing all it can to support charities up and down the UK with food so that they can provide vital services to people facing food insecurity during the summer holidays.

“We are immensely grateful to Tesco customers for their generous food and financial donations during the Summer Food Collection. The support we receive from Tesco and its customers will enable FareShare to continue our support of children and families in Cornwall during the summer and beyond.”

Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust, added: “As the nation faces a rapid rise in the cost of living, food banks in our network are telling us that families up and down the country are having to make impossible decisions between putting food on the table or being able to take a hot shower – and too many people are being left with no option but to use a food bank because their money simply won’t stretch.

“The incredible generosity of Tesco customers during the Summer Food Collection will play a vital role in helping food banks across Cornwall provide emergency food and support to people facing hardship during this challenging period. We are grateful to everyone who was able to donate and we thank you for your continued support while we work in the long term to build a future without the need for food banks."