Volunteers at a foodbank in the Cotswolds have hailed the donation of a delivery van as a ‘godsend’.
Tesco has donated the van to North Cotswold Foodbank to help them cope with an increasing need for food in the community.
The ex-Tesco fleet van, was previously used for home shopping deliveries so is well equipped to transport large amounts food donated to the foodbank’s centres in Winchcombe, Chipping Campden, Moreton-in-Marsh, Bourton-on-the-Water, Bishop’s Cleeve and Stow-on-the-Wold.
North Cotswold Foodbank will now use the van to collect and distribute the increasing amount of food needed at these centres, to which people are referred if they can’t afford essentials.
Kevin Carden, of North Cotswold Foodbank, said the van would make a big difference.
“I was overwhelmed to receive this donation,” he said.
“I have seen Tesco delivery vans out on the road, but to get one in the livery of North Cotswold Foodbank and to open it up and start to work out how we can use it, it’s very exciting.
“It means that we can distribute food to all of our centres without having to rely on volunteers using their own transport.
“We are getting beyond where we were two to three years ago and that is not practical anymore, given the amount of food we are now moving on a weekly basis.
“This is a Godsend for us and the dedicated drivers we work with.”
North Cotswold Foodbank regularly collects food donated by shoppers at local Tesco stores, and the van was handed over at the Bishops Cleeve supermarket by store colleague Rich Evans.
Bishops Cleeve store manager Suzanne Hawkesford said: “We know how important the work of North Cotswold Foodbank is in the community, and our colleagues have got to know their volunteers well because of their work collecting donations from our collection point in store.
“We were delighted to be able to hand over the van, which we have had liveried with the foodbank’s logo, because we know it will give them a little extra help in the amazing work they do feeding people in the community.”
Last year the Trussell Trust provided 2.1m food parcels to people across the UK, a 14 per cent rise on the previous year.
Further information about North Cotswold Foodbank is available at northcotswold.foodbank.org.uk