Major US grocer Albertson's is launching a "Summer Lunch: Buy One, Give One" promotion in northern California this week to help shoppers donate food to hungry children in their community.

In support of the Summer Lunch educational campaign being run by the domestic hunger relief organisation America's Second Harvest, Albertson's shoppers purchasing lunch food for their own children will be able to pack a extra bag of food at no extra cost. Food bank barrels will be in Albertson's store entrances for customer donations until 2 July.

The products featured in the promotion were selected in partnership with America's Second Harvest to meet the needs of local organisations. According to a study released last month by California Food Policy Advocates, when schools closed for the summer last year thousands of California's children went hungry.

David Goodman, executive director of the Santa Rosa-based food bank, explained: "We make every effort to ensure children are not hungry in the classroom but then allow their intake of nutritional foods to fall behind during the summer.

"It's an out-of-sight, out-of-mind situation that has many negative long-range educational and health consequences.

"Albertson's is to be commended for their leadership in this fight against hunger."

Mike Patton, president of Albertson's Northern California division, that the "Summer Lunch: Buy One, Give One promotion will make it easy for our customers to meet the needs of children in their community."