A SUPERMARKET is giving back to its community by donating surplus food to those most in need.

Aldi in Blackwater Retail Park has become one of 19 Essex stores to start donating any leftover food to its local food pantry.

The food, consisting of perishable fruit and vegetables, long life items and baked goods will be donated to the Maldon pantry.

Staff at the pantry will then redistribute the food out to the community.

Speaking about the new scheme, Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility at Aldi, said: “We’re always looking for new and creative ways to increase the amount of food we are able to donate.

“This partnership is enabling us to distribute even more surplus stock, while supporting a vast range of good causes, across Essex.

“Our aim is for fresh, healthy food to be accessible for everyone, and Neighbourly Food is helping us to extend this commitment beyond our affordable range of fresh products.”

The scheme has come following a trial which started in January.

The supermarket worked alongside community engagement platform, Neighbourly, which has already donated one million meals to charities across the UK this year.

Steve Butterworth, Neighbourly Food CEO, was very proud the trial’s success means it will now be a permanent part of the community.

He said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Aldi on this programme and to help them realise their ambition to benefit those communities local to each and every one of their stores across the UK.

“Food surplus is a challenge Aldi is committed to playing its part to address.

“This approach is critical to ensure surplus food finds its way easily to the good causes supporting those communities that need it most.”

Any charities or community groups in Maldon looking to partner up with Aldi should email aldi@ neighbourly.com.

Foodbanks, lunch clubs, holiday clubs or social groups across mid Essex often require food to cater for members.

These groups are all run on a volunteer basis meaning paying for food can sometimes be a challenge.