FREE fruit will be handed out to children in Totton to cut down on food waste and making shopping easier for parents.

The Free Fruit for Kids scheme means that the fruit – which is ripe, sweet, and of good eating quality – does not go to waste.

Morrisons says it expects to give away 40,000 pieces of fruit which will be within its sell-by window, but at risk of not being sold.

Fruit including bananas, apples, pears, sweet clementines and satsumas will be offered in the entrance of the shop. It will be placed on a wooden stand at the front of Morrisons greengrocery area, and will be refilled every morning.

Warren Wake, store manager at Morrisons Totton, said: “Sometimes our store is left with unsold fruit and customers would prefer us to find a use for it.

"So we’re putting out fruit - that’s at risk of not being sold - for children to help themselves.

"It’s healthy for them, reduces food waste in our store and will help make shopping easier for parents."

The supermarket says it is the first to offer free fruit to children, and guarantees that it will be available every day.

Youngsters can help themselves to the fruit, and bosses hope that the scheme will encourage them to try different foods and contribute to their five-a-day.

Morrisons data shows that reducing food waste is among the top concerns of customers.