A major appeal has been made for Middlesbrough residents to support local foodbanks which have seen a sharp rise in users.
Middlesbrough Foodbank, run by the Trussell Trust, has sites across the town and serves around 7,700 individuals - 3,000 of whom are children living in households accessing foodbank support.
However, since the Coronavirus outbreak the service has seen a sharp rise in the number of people using it, and also a decrease in food donations.
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston has now made a heartfelt plea for the public to put Middlesbrough's proud community spirit on show in solidarity with the foodbanks. Mr Preston also called on local businesses to try and help.
He said: "Over the last two weeks we've seen people in Middlesbrough doing amazing things to help the most vulnerable, elderly and isolated in our community.
"Middlesbrough's foodbanks are going to be an absolute lifeline to so many people during this terrible time and I'd just ask everyone to try and make a donation if they possibly can - lives really are depending on it."
There are three ways to help Middlesbrough Foodbank, firstly by donating non-perishable and in-date food items, secondly by making a financial donation via their website and thirdly by joining the list of potential volunteers to deliver items.
Middlesbrough Foodbank Manager Soroush Sadeghzadeh said: "I'd like to thank all our volunteers and supporters for all they do in supporting those experiencing hardship in the local community.
"The generosity of people in the community has always amazed me. We would be grateful for any donation of non-perishable, in-date food as well as soap.
"Any help would be hugely appreciated at this really difficult time for everyone. The list of urgently needed items is regularly updated on our website, as well as information for people who'd like to make a one-off or regular donation."
The service currently has five sites open, at St Barnabas Church, Linthorpe, Coulby Newham Baptist Church, Grove Hill Methodist Church, Middlesbrough Community Church on Clifton Street in the town centre and Holy Trinity at North Ormesby.
Sadly Trinity Methodist Church at Whinney Banks, St Timothy's in Hemlington and Berwick Hills Baptist Church are all closed until further notice.
Donations can be dropped off at the Middlesbrough Foodbank depot at Unit 5 Wear Court on Wallis Road at Skippers Lane Industrial Estate on Mondays and Tuesdays between 9am and 2pm. All sites are using appropriate social distancing measures.