FAMILIES in need are in for a festive boost this year thanks to big hearted shoppers.

M&S and Boots at Eagles Meadow shopping centre have joined forces to collect food and toiletries from staff and customers which will then be donated to Wrexham Foodbank along with unused store stock.

Eagles Meadow marketing manager Oana Mocanasu came up with the idea for the collection and then approached the management team of both stores asking for their support.

She said: “It’s so tragic that so many families are in crisis and in need of support. I put the idea to M&S and Boots who both quickly agreed to help and support the idea.

“It means customers can get involved and donate some small items that, when we put them all together, will make a huge difference to some families.

“We are not looking for people to spend a small fortune just to buy a little extra and drop it into one of the in-store collection bins. It means we can all feel good about helping someone in need at this special time of year.”

Huw Roberts, the Foodhall manager at the Eagles Meadow M&S store, said they were more than happy to help.

He said: “We were approached by Oana and thought it was a fantastic initiative and one we really wanted to support. It means we can donate food surplus while helping local people who may be having a difficult time.

“We will be donating everything from crisps to Christmas puddings and chocolate to tins of soup. Our colleagues are right behind it and really engaged with the scheme.”

He added: “We will also be putting collection bins around the store so our customers can, if they wish, buy a little extra and donate a few items to Wrexham Foodbank.

“I’m sure our customers will respond and help by donating what they can. It may well make a big difference to a family in crisis this Christmas.”

Sharron Harrington, the assistant manager at Boots, said they also readily agreed to support what she describes as a wonderful initiative.

She said: “We really are thrilled to be involved in what is a superb scheme. We will be donating toiletries such as deodorants and toothpaste and baby wipes and nappies.

“We will be asking our customers to consider getting involved and buying that little extra item they can donate. We will have collection bins in the store to make it easier for customers.

“All they need to do is buy that little extra item and drop into a collection bin which will be by the tills. We will then ensure everything is delivered to the Foodbank. It may just make a huge difference to a family in crisis at what can be a difficult time of year.”

Wrexham Foodbank project manager Sally Ellinson says demand for food parcels is growing and she is delighted the Eagles Meadow M&S and Boots stores are supporting their work.

She said: “It’s wonderful that customers of both stores will be able to donate as they shop. We are always in need of food and toiletries. Food is obviously important, anything that is non-perishable.

“We need tins and dried goods in particular; we cannot take fresh food or alcohol. We also need toiletries particularly deodorants, shampoo, baby wipes and nappies.”

She added: “It’s also wonderful Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre is helping by raising awareness of what we do and the support we give to families who desperately need it.

“I manage the Foodbank and we have a warehouse manager along with around 80 volunteers. We give out food parcels to people in need after they are referred to us by frontline professionals such as doctors, teachers, social workers or health visitors.

“In the last year we have fed more than 5,000 people by handing out more than 2,000 parcels. We have and continue to see demand for help increase largely due to the often five week wait for Universal Credit.

“This Eagles Meadow initiative will certainly help make a difference especially at what is one of busiest times of the year for our team.”