NEARLY 9,000 meals have been collected for families in need after three collections at a Tesco store.

The latest drive saw 3,475 meals donated by shoppers - including a 30 per cent top up by the supermarket chain - to go to the local food bank in Wath in time for Christmas.

MP John Healey supported the collection again by paying a visit to the store to help volunteers.

This was Tesco’s third Neighbourhood Food Collection in partnership with food banks charity The Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity FareShare.

During the weekend of November 29 December 1, customers were given a special shopping list and asked to pick up an extra item of food to donate at the end of their shop, such as long-life milk, cereal, tinned food and tea and coffee.

The last collection in June saw 3,835 meals collected at the store, and around 1,500 were donated during the first collection in December 2012.

John said: "The number of people relying on food banks has tripled over the last 12 months and 500,000 people in Britain are thought to now depend on emergency food aid.

"The people of Wath have been as generous as ever and their donations will go straight to families in need in the local area, who might otherwise have gone hungry this Christmas."