Free meal offer attracts 10,000

More than 10,000 people accept the offer of a free meal in Middlesbrough as part of a healthy eating project.

Free meal offer attracts 10,000

 A woman picking strawberries
Keen gardeners have donated their fruit and vegetables

More than 10,000 people turned up for a free meal which was on offer in the centre of Middlesbrough.

Over the past six months 200 community groups have been growing fruit and vegetables as part of a multi-million pound healthy eating project.

The resulting harvest was being cooked up in a giant free food giveaway in the town´s Centre Square.

Middlesbrough Council, which hosted the event - dubbed Town Meal - said it was delighted with the attendance.

´Bold statement´

Since March keen gardeners from all over the town have been growing produce as part of the town´s Urban Farming Project.

Brenda Thompson, the council´s executive member for public health, said: "The Town Meal will make a bold statement to show Middlesbrough is committed to becoming a healthier and more active town."

A planned event for last year was cancelled because of bad weather.

Middlesbrough´s mayor Ray Mallon officially opened the event on Saturday.