The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has launched a pilot project to support the work of local food banks.

As part of the scheme Nisa stores in Bellshill and Aberdeen will encourage customers to place donations in collection bins located in-store to support local food banks. Nisa in Dundee is expected to join up soon.

A special event at the Scottish national stadium, Hampden Park, took place this morning to mark the launch of the project. The event is supported by SGF members AG Barr, Muller-Wiseman Dairies, KP Snacks and Weetabix and will involve 600 school pupils from Glasgow performing a sponsored ‘conga dance’ to raise funds for anti-poverty initiatives in schools.

SGF president and participating retailer Abdul Majid said: “SGF has over 3,000 stores in membership so if this project proves to be a success over the coming months there is massive potential to roll it out across Scotland in 2016. This project reinforces the vital role we can play in helping people in need.”

Nisa Aberdeen retailer Graeme Knowles said: “It’s very much the community supporting the community and there is huge potential for this to become a core fixture in every store.”

In 2014/15, 117,689 people, including 36,114 children, picked up a three-day supply of groceries from Scottish food banks, according to figures from the Trussell Trust charity.