Black Country market traders donating fruit and vegetables to foodbanks and charities
Black Country market traders have offered to donate fruit and vegetables to foodbanks after council bosses announced a three-month rent free period during the coronavirus crisis.
Traders in Dudley are offering free bagfuls of groceries to any foodbanks and charities that can collect them.
James Willis, managing director of Tudor Markets, which runs the market in Dudley town centre, said: "Traders are naturally worried about the future of their businesses during this incredibly testing time.
"They are so grateful for this gesture by the council to cover the rent for three months, which will give them the ability in the short term to continue providing essential, healthy food for people in the town."
He added traders are using strict social distancing measures to ensure the safety of customers.
Dudley Council leader Patrick Harley said: "Markets are the lifeblood of any town, and we want to do all we can to protect the livelihoods of our valued stall-holders during these difficult and unprecedented times.
"By keeping our Dudley market partially open, it will help alleviate the pressure on supermarkets and reduce the risk of crowding in these shops.
"It will also enable people to make shorter journeys to buy essential food items."
He added: "I appreciate the fantastic gesture offered up in return – it shows we really are all in it together, and that we will come out of the other side of this together, and stronger."
Any foodbanks or charities wishing to collect donations are asked to call James at Tudor Markets on 01384 231635.