A SHOPPING centre has introduced a food donation drop-off point to boost Teesside's foodbank stocks.

The Hillstreet Shopping Centre in Middlesbrough is supporting the Trussell Trust by encouraging people to donate tinned and dried foods at its newly installed drop-off point in the Centre Square.

There are currently eight Trussell Trust foodbanks in Middlesbrough and Peter Drabble, centre manager at Hillstreet, said: “Everyone here at Hillstreet is well aware of the fantastic job Trussell Trust does in the Middlesbrough community.

"Without the charity’s help there would many vulnerable people going without a decent meal, particularly over the festive period.

"Thanks to the generosity of our visitors, we hope to be able to help more local people in real need, not just at Christmas but all year round.”

Former Middlesbrough FC player, Bernie Slaven, is a familiar face at Hillstreet and says the initiative is something he supports.

He said: “It is great to see the shopping centre championing such a great cause and I have no doubt they will receive lots of donations from the generous people of Middlesbrough.”

The number of supplies being distributed by Trussell Trust foodbanks has risen by 73 per cent over the past five years.