Supermarket chain Aldi is donating unsold fresh food to good causes across the UK this Christmas Eve.

Charities and community groups will be paired with local Aldi shops and will be able to collect unsold fresh food products after the shop closes at 6 pm on Christmas Eve, such as fruit, vegetables, fresh meat, fish and bread.

Last year the Christmas initiative donated under half a million meals to charities across the UK and aims to increase its meal donations for Christmas 2019.

6 pm follows the supermarket’s successful partnership earlier this year with community engagement platform Neighbourly, which links businesses to charitable organisations, with 95% of Aldi stores now donating unwanted food up to five days a week throughout the year.

Aldi UK managing director of corporate responsibility Fritz Walleczek said: “Our Christmas food donation scheme is something we’re really passionate about, and we’re working with Neighbourly this year to pair as many stores up as possible.

“Last year we were able to reach thousands of people across the UK, and some charities were even able to prepare fresh meals that fed families well into the New Year. This is our third year of Christmas food donations and we’re hoping this year will be just as successful, and we look forward to working with local charities and food banks in the future.”

Charities working with Aldi during the festive period have to contact Neighbourly before the 11 November each year.

Other supermarkets donating unwanted food throughout the year is Tesco, which in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare donates the equivalent of seven millions meals a year to more than 1,000 charities across the UK.

Morrisons donates unsold food every day, and this year employees made a Christmas video encouraging shoppers to give away unwanted goods.

Lidl has pledged to donate festive food products this Christmas that equates to over 250,000 meals, while Sainsbury’s has built over 2,250 Food Donation Partnerships with local charities.