ONE of Inverclyde Foodbank's biggest supporters has now donated a record 50,000 meals to stop local people going hungry.

Over the last seven years Tesco in Greenock has rallied to the cause, collecting tins, packets and long life products by the kilos.

Fraser Donaldson, who runs the i58 project which founded the foodbank, says it has helped provide tens of thousands of people with up to 10 nutritious meals to put on the table at any one time.

But he warns the cupboards are bare as demand continues to soar at an alarming rate especially over the summer holidays.

Now he and Tesco store community champion Lorella Sutherland are appealing for another massive push of donations.

Fraser, who set up the local foodbank in partnership with the Trussell Trust, said: "Tesco in Greenock has been without doubt one of our biggest contributors.

"They have supported us from the start and continue to do so.

"People in Inverclyde continue to donate to us, but demand is just so high that we are getting more and more referrals.

"I don't think it is going to get any better.

"Since we started we have provided meals for 31,000 people.

"So far this year we have helped 3,910.

"Right now we see a spike in demand because the schools are off.

"Families are under more pressure."

Inverclyde Foodbank has witnessed a jump in demand since the introduction of the controversial Universal Credit system.

Fraser said: "We run a strictly referral based scheme because we want to help people and provide a holistic approach.

"The worry is without a referral scheme people would use the foodbank to support chaotic lifestyles."

On top of providing food the i58 charity also runs a uniform bank, a baby bank and they run a charity proving financial support.

Tesco Greenock community champ Lorella is proud of the store's support for the foodbank and the 50,000 meals they have provided.

She also volunteers for the foodbank, helping make up hampers.

Lorella told the Tele: "It is such a great cause and very close to my heart.

"I feel very humbled when I go to the foodbank to volunteer.

"It is important to help as much as we can and we are hoping to support another big collection in the summer."