SHOPPERS at a Pembroke Dock supermarket have dished out more than 11,000 meals to help stop hunger this Christmas.

In the last 12 months, visitors at the town's Tesco store have given generously to the firm's food collection scheme, which supports two charities - the Trussell Trust and FareShare.

The appeal, which ran until December 2, saw customers donate long-life items to help people in need, with Tesco topping up the value of donations by 20 per cent.

This year’s collection has brought in around three million meals worth of food, and brings the total donated by Tesco shoppers since 2012 to more than 49 million meals.

Of this, 11,729 meals were donated by customers in Pembroke Dock and Saundersfoot.

The food donated to foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network is given in emergency food parcels to people referred because they cannot afford to feed themselves and their families.

Food donated to FareShare is distributed to charities and community groups who use it to provide meals for vulnerable groups such as isolated older people and those in homeless shelters.

The 20 per cent top–up provided by Tesco helps the charities in their work, providing funding to run the foodbanks and distribute to those in need.

Lindsay Boswell, of FareShare, said: "The food donated at the Tesco Food Collection will make a tremendous difference to the thousands of charities and community groups FareShare supports.

“These groups are doing amazing work with some of the most vulnerable people in our community. "Thanks to the generosity of Tesco shoppers over the festive season, we have enough long-life food to provide more than 900,000 meals.

Samantha Stapley, of Trussell Trust, said: “Our foodbank network has spent the last month making sure that people referred to them with no money for food don’t go hungry this Christmas.

"This work has been made possible thanks to the incredible generosity of Tesco customers, store colleagues and volunteers during the Food Collection.

"Thank you for your support - your generosity has stopped hunger this Christmas.”

Tesco’s Head of Community Alec Brown said: “We know this annual collection makes a real difference in the Pembrokeshire area and we would like to thank everyone who has donated, volunteered or helped with the Food Collection in store."