Morrisons is set to boost its bakery output to help restock the nation’s food banks, which have suffered a fall in donations due to Covid-19.

The retailer will run its bakery, egg and fruit & vegetable packing site for an extra hour every day to make, prepare and pack food required for food banks.

It will also be sending deliveries of ambient food – such as canned goods and pasta – to its stores to give to their local food bank. In total, £10m of food will be distributed to food banks by Morrisons’ community champions – in-store employees who work with the local community – by the end of July 2020. Bread, eggs, orange juice and pasta are among the typical items being donated.

As some shoppers struggle to get essentials at supermarkets, food banks are also suffering badly during the current crisis. Morrisons said donations had “dried up rapidly” over the past two weeks with a 40% reduction in donations to community food banks across the country at a time when demand for these services had increased.

“As a food maker and shopkeeper we are uniquely placed to help. We know food banks are finding life very difficult and running our manufacturing sites for an extra hour each day to help restock them is the right decision at this time,” said David Potts, CEO of Morrisons.

“The core purpose of all 96,537 colleagues at Morrisons is to play our full part in feeding the nation.”

In addition, to make it easier for customers to donate to food banks, purchase limits on items will be raised to four items (from three) and some removed altogether. Morrisons will create ‘local’ drop-off points for customers to donate products to those in need. Donation hubs in Morrisons’ recently repurposed in-store cafés will collect these additional products for their local food banks.