A CHRISTMAS chart-topper has urged Swindon shoppers to donate to Tesco's food collection campaign.

LadBaby has scored a festive number one three times in a row - a feat only matched by The Beatles and the Spice Girls.

Now Mark Hoyle wants to use his star status to raise awareness of poverty and to support food banks.

Long-life food will be collected in Express stores until Saturday and in larger Tesco supermarkets from Thursday to Saturday before being donated to food banks in the Trussell Trust network.

The group will then use the given goods to create emergency food parcels to people in crisis and help food redistribution charity FareShare provide food to frontline charities and community groups.

The retail giant will top up all customer donations by 20 per cent.

Mark said: “Everyone deserves to have an amazing Christmas but, unfortunately, a lot of people will have real problems affording the essentials for their families this year.

"When we released our first charity single back in 2018 there was a huge need for food banks, and that need is growing rapidly.

“No-one should have to go to bed hungry, but today far too many do. It’s devastating and we all need to pull together and do what we can to help.

“A donation to the Tesco Food Collection is a really easy way of helping food banks and local groups supporting people in Swindon facing hardship this winter. By putting an extra tin in your basket to donate at the end of your shop, you could really be helping someone out.”

FareShare South West CEO Julian Mines said: “The winter months can be tough for struggling families and this year is no exception. With the pandemic, rising living costs and Christmas on the horizon, many people will face the difficult decision between keeping warm or putting food on the table.

“We’re so thankful for the support from Tesco and Ladbaby for helping us to raise awareness of these issues, and encouraging shoppers to donate in store this weekend.

“The items we receive through the Tesco Food Collection are absolutely vital to FareShare South West. Please consider adding an extra tin of tuna or a bag of pasta to your basket at Tesco this weekend. Generous donations from customers will ensure we’re able to continue providing much needed long life food this Christmas to a huge range of organisations supporting people in their communities, from homeless shelters and domestic violence refuges to food banks, schools and pantries.”

Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie added: “Every year, we are amazed by the generosity of Tesco customers in Swindon who donate to the annual Food Collection. For many people, the winter period can be extremely challenging with many families facing impossible decisions – like whether to switch on the heating or put food on the table – so once again we are urging shoppers to give generously and make a difference to people who need our support over the festive period.

“No-one in Swindon should be facing hunger. However, while we work to tackle the reasons why people don’t have enough money for the essentials, any donations of our most-needed items will be invaluable.”