A RECORD-BREAKING amount of groceries have been donated to a charity which helps people across East Lothian.

A total of 11,765 kilogrammes of food were handed over to East Lothian Foodbank during a three-day collection at Tesco stores in Haddington, North Berwick and Musselburgh.

Peter Dicker, manager of the Tranent-based charity, thanked everyone for their support at a busy time of year.

He said: “We have had a fantastic response to our Tesco collection on November 30 and December 1 and 2, and the support from the stores was brilliant with the staff being so helpful.

“Our volunteers manned the collection points on the Friday and Saturday, along with help from Dunbar and Haddington Rotary, as well as volunteers from North Berwick Rotary and the Abbey Church, North Berwick.

“We had such a fantastic response from all the customers and would like to thank everyone who donated over the three days and to say thank you to everyone who helped.”

The charity, based on Civic Square, opened in 2012 with three-day parcels given to people referred to the foodbank as being in need.

Mr Dicker said Christmas was a busy time of year for the foodbank.

He added: “Every year we see a spike in demand at Christmas but this year our foodbank is expecting the busiest Christmas ever.

“At Christmas the foodbank will be working hard to provide not only those regular essentials like pasta and cereal but also little extras that offer hope at a time when people need it most.

“The stories are as inspiring as they are heart-breaking – one mum told us that she was relieved as her daughter’s first Christmas was taken care of with help from the foodbank with us supplying a ‘Jingle Bag’ for Christmas Day.

“Last December, the public’s generosity meant the foodbank could help hundreds of people across the county.

“But when the festive season is over there will still be people in our communities unable to afford food.

“Foodbanks rely on donations, which is why we’re asking the public to show that same generosity again, not only this December but in the months that follow Christmas too.”

Despite generous donations of food, there are many hidden costs to running the foodbank.

Costs include warehouse space, to sort and stock donated food, and other overheads like salaries, utilities and insurances.

Anyone looking to offer support should go to eastlothian.foodbank.org.uk