Scotland-based wholesaler JW Filshill has introduced food bank donation stations in 100 of its 185 independently-owned KeyStore sites.

The branded dump bins will arrive in time to support people in need this Christmas. It also grows sales by encouraging customers to purchase ambient items to be donated to a local food bank, which is named on the signage. The displays read: “Help people in need and build a stronger community.”

Garry Haigh, of KeyStore Peterhead Motors in Aberdeenshire, is one of the store owners who already has the scheme.

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He told betterRetailing: “It’s been done for the run-up to the holidays to support people. There’s a lot of support for food banks and so far it’s well used, even though, as a forecourt site, we have fewer suitable lines than others.”

Asked for the most frequently donated items, Haigh said: “It’s been basics like tea bags, but also personal care items such as baby wipes and nappies.”

JW Filshill retail sales director Craig Brown commented: “We know that food banks are under pressure just now. It’s a really thoughtful way for retailers to give something back to their local community at Christmas, simply by positioning a dump bin in an empty space in their store.”

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Retailers looking to replicate the scheme are advised to make contact with their nearest food bank.

The Trussell Trust is the largest network of food banks in the UK, and its website enables supporters to find their nearest site.

The charity has reported a 19% increase in demand over the last year for food supplies for those in crisis.

Natalie Lightfoot explains how you can help your local food bank at Christmas