STAFF at Sainsbury’s Amblecote, Merry Hill and Blackheath are encouraging people to help tackle food poverty by taking part in a nationwide food-drive.

Sainsbury’s and FareShare, the national charity tackling hunger across the UK, have teamed up to run the second annual Million Meal Appeal which will take place on Saturday October 6 and Sunday October 7.

More than 700 charities and projects across the UK are expected to benefit from the appeal which last November proved a huge success with enough food collected at the Amblecote, Merryhill and Blackheath stores to provide 6,000 meals to charities across the UK - including Summit House Support, Holloway House, Martin Hill Street, Dudley.

Customers are invited to take part by donating an item from the Million Meal Appeal shopping list which consists of long-life products including tinned goods, dried pasta, pasta sauce, rice, tea and instant coffee.

The items are purchased as normal and then placed in the collection box after checkout.

Customers shopping online at Sainsbury’s can also choose to make a £1 donation until October 9.

Sainsbury’s community affairs manager Andy White said: “We had such an overwhelming response from our customers to last year’s initiative and we’re excited to be working with FareShare on the second ‘Million Meal Appeal’.

“The total of 1.2 million meals donated in 2011 would be enough to feed a sold-out London Olympic stadium 15 times.

“We hope from this year’s campaign that we can further raise the awareness of food poverty in the UK and support those charities and projects that need our help.”

Volunteers across the borough are being recruited by FareShare to help with the food drive.

Participants can choose their preferred store to volunteer at and can opt for a morning or afternoon shift.

Anyone interested in helping out can register to take part by logging onto