A SUPERMARKET helped to spread festive cheer across south Essex by donating 53,856 meals to 34 charities on Christmas Eve.

Aldi, which has stores in areas including Westcliff, Benfleet, Pitsea, Southend and Wickford, paired more than 500 stores across the UK with charities and food banks to make the most of quality unsold fresh food after stores closed on December 24.

Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility, said: “By donating fresh food such as bread, fruit and vegetables and meat we’ve provided warm and healthy festive meals this Christmas season.

“The feedback has been overwhelming and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to go above and beyond.”