IN partnership with its local food bank, an Evesham opticians is collecting non-perishable items and emergency food supplies for those in need.

The Specsavers store in Bridge Street will be collecting on behalf of Caring Hands in the Vale, encouraging customers to donate tinned and jarred foods, dried pasta, rice, soups, biscuits and other long-life items to help provide food parcels to local people in desperate need. Caring Hands in the Vale is an outreach project that aims to support individuals and families in need in the local community, and has been operating since June 2003. This year marks the charity’s 13th anniversary.

Diane Bennett, community worker for Caring Hands, said: "We are delighted that Specsavers Evesham will be collecting for Caring Hands. We rely on the kindness of others and donations from people in the local community, and it is fantastic to see that Specsavers is so keen to get involved."

Store director Amy Liau added: "It is important to recognise that there are so many people, even in our locality, who struggle to provide for themselves and for their families. Our commitment is not only to our customers, but to our community."