Charities and community groups who support people who are struggling to provide food and some basic provisions are being urged to come forward.

A campaign set up by Tesco called, Community Food Connection, donates surplus edible food from their shelves to people across the Cambridgeshire area and the St Neots branch of the supermarket giant is urging more groups to apply.

The store's community champion, Leanne Buckley, said: "We strive to offer charities and community groups a fantastic and reliable service; helping them to make the best use of their resources and volunteers' time.

"When a group joins, they will receive a text message from FareShare FoodCloud to help make their day-to-day collections easier. We donate a range of products - bakery, fruit and vegetables, eggs and even chilled products such as meat, ready meals and dairy products. Of course, we cannot guarantee what will be available on any given day."

The store is currently working with The 3 Pillars Feeding the Homeless charity whose representatives visit the branch twice a week to pick up surplus food.

"We need more not-for-profit organisations to apply, which can include after-school clubs and hostels," added Leanne.

The Community Food Connection initiative is run in conjunction with FairShare and FoodCloud who are alerted by store staff that there is surplus food available at the end of the day.

Tesco's head of community, Alec Brown, added: "We know that Community Food Connection is making a real difference to communities in Cambridgeshire by providing people in need with meals from food that would otherwise go to waste."

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, said: "Tesco has led the way with introducing such a step-change in tackling their store surplus food and having seen the scheme grow and create such an impact for vulnerable people, it proves it can deliver very obvious results."

Tesco and FareShare are calling on community groups to register for the scheme at: www.fareshare.org.uk/getting-food/fareshare-go-suport. More information is available at: www.tesco.com/communityfoodconnection and: www.thethreepillarsfeedingthehomelesstrust.com.