Asda is to invest at least £20m into a partnership designed to lift a million people out of food poverty over the next three years.

Asda has teamed up with charities FareShare and the Trussell Trust for the initiative.

Asda’s support will enable food distribution network FareShare and foodbank operator Trussell Trust to develop their infrastructure and improve services to those in need.

At present, both charities face difficulties transporting and storing fresh food, which needs to be chilled, so people using food banks mainly rely on tinned and packet foods.

Asda’s support will also fund additional services at food banks, such as debt and employment advice. The grocer will also ensure all of its stores are able to donate surplus food to food banks by 2020.

Asda chief customer officer Andy Murray said: “Right now in the UK 8.4 million people are struggling to afford to eat.

“One in 10 people in the UK are missing meals to pay their bills – and one in four of those are children.

“And yet, 4 million tonnes of perfectly decent food is wasted each year in the UK. We simply cannot – and will not – accept food being wasted whilst people in our communities go hungry.”