Asda has bolstered its emergency local disaster fund to £500,000 to help recovery in communities hit by December’s floods.

The cash is held by Asda’s charitable foundation and assistance is expected to be provided over the next 12 months.

Asda Foundation chair Alex Simpson said: “This is an extremely challenging time for families and communities, and could not come at a worse time of year for them.

“Store colleagues have been absolutely fantastic in supporting their neighbours – from joining the clean-ups in their areas to providing emergency supplies to community groups and charities to distribute where they’re needed the most.

“Our store managers and community life colleagues are really leading this drive on the ground and the decision to increase our local disaster fund help them do this was easy for the trustees to make.”

The money will provide community groups and charities with food, water, clothing, cleaning materials and products and support during the post-floods clean-up.

There is also a colleague hardship fund to help Asda colleagues whose homes are affected by local disasters.

Asda said that in York, badly affected by the flooding, it is delivering cleaning packs to charities and other local groups today to distribute to all of the 650 affected properties in the area. The same was done in the Halifax area earlier this week.

Retailers – some of whose shops have been flooded – have generally come to the aid of communities affected by the deluge. Morrisons is donating £100,000 to help with recovery.