RESIDENTS are being urged to support a food drive to help meet the need during the "tough" winter months.

It comes after charities FareShare and the Trussell Trust announced they are facing "record levels" of need throughout the festive period, with many people across the area expected to need help from the good causes.

As part of the food drive, Tesco's Food Collection will run in Express stores until December 2 and in large stores from November 30 until December 2.

The top 10 most-needed items required from shoppers are - UHT & powdered milk, tinned meat and fish, sponge/rice pudding, long-life fruit juice, cooking/pasta sauces, tinned vegetables, tinned and dried soup, pasta, rice and noodles, cereal and porridge, tea and coffee.

Ken Murphy, Tesco Group CEO, said: “Over the last 10 years our generous customers have helped donate over 100 million meals to communities across the UK.

"Whether it’s in your local store through the Winter Food Collection or via your Clubcard points online, even the smallest donation can make a real difference to someone else’s Christmas.”

George Wright, FareShare Chief Executive, said: “Over the last decade, Tesco has supplied more than 250 million meals to FareShare, more than any other organisation in our history.

"As we prepare for another challenging winter ahead, the items we collect play a crucial part in our efforts to get food to the communities that need it most. 

"If you’re able to donate just one item at your local store, you’ll be helping to provide a meal for someone facing hunger this winter.”

While Emma Revie, Trussell Trust Chief Executive, added: “The support provided by Tesco and their customers is invaluable to the food banks in our network, especially at this time of year when we anticipate that our network will be providing an emergency food parcel every eight seconds.

"The generous donations received are vital in ensuring food banks can meet the urgent levels of need, whilst we work towards a future where everyone can afford the essentials.”