A SUPERMARKET chain spread festive cheer in County Durham as it donated 8,673 meals to people in need this Christmas Eve.

Aldi paired up 12 stores in County Durham with local charities and food banks to make the most of quality unsold fresh food after stores closed on December 24.

Around 185 tonnes of food were donated across the country, with more than 440,000 meals donated and over 500 UK charities benefitting from the initiative in total.

This follows on from the successful partnership between Aldi and Neighbourly, a community engagement platform that links businesses to key charitable organisations.

The initiative was rolled out to all UK stores earlier this year and Aldi has paired up 12 stores in County Durham with local good causes, that are now collecting surplus food up to five days a week, all year round.

The partnership began in April 2019 and has helped Aldi donate over four million meals, exceeding their target for the year.

Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility at Aldi UK, said: “By donating fresh food such as bread, fruit, vegetables and meat we’ve been able to support charities in providing warm and healthy festive meals this Christmas season. We’re delighted that we’ve been able to reach hundreds of charities in regions like County Durham across the UK.”