An Isuzu dealer near Manchester has supplied a D-Max pick-up truck to an organisation that delivers home-cooked meals to families in food poverty. Open Kitchen MCR, a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides catering for conferences and events using donations of perfectly edible food that would otherwise go to waste, has taken the vehicle on loan from Firbank Isuzu in Hollingworth.

Although the organisation, which supplies its catering operation with donations of perfectly edible food that would otherwise go to waste, has seen many future events postponed due to coronavirus, it is using the lull in bookings as “an opportunity to help the public”. Taking referrals directly from Manchester City Council, it is using the food intended for conferences to feed the vulnerable, including homeless and elderly people.

To help with the distribution of these lockdown meals, Firbank Isuzu in Hollingworth has loaned Open Kitchen MCR an Isuzu D-Max Utility Double Cab. The four-door base-spec model, which features air conditioning and Bluetooth phone connectivity as standard, has also been fitted with an aluminium canopy to cover the load bed used for collecting food from donors and delivering food to those in need.

“The D-Max’s load carrying capabilities and great reliability lend itself well to companies transporting vital equipment and supplies during this critical time,” said Firbank Isuzu’s director, Jonathan Miller. “While our sales showroom is closed, we want to put our demonstrator trucks to practical use and help people in our local community, like Open Kitchen MCR, who are carrying out fantastic work.”

Meanwhile Corin Bell, director of Open Kitchen MCR, said the D-Max was doubling the organisation’s ability to transport food.

“We only have one van so, with the D-Max onboard, we’re able to collect and distribute twice as much food,” she said. “It’s been a real lifeline and, without it, we’d be struggling to cope with the surge in demand for people needing food. Companies from as far away as Preston and Leeds are contacting us every day to donate food and we simply wouldn’t be able to get there if it wasn’t for the D-Max. We’re now able to put dinners on the tables of twice as many people”.

William Brown, the managing director of Isuzu UK, expressed the company’s delight at being able to help Open Kitchen MCR, and thanked the insurance company that allowed the demonstrator vehicle to go out on loan.

“From a national perspective, Isuzu are focused on helping the working professionals who provide critical services so I’m delighted that Firbank Isuzu are participating on a local level by getting involved in community projects in their own area,” he said. “We’re grateful to Admiral Insurance who are supporting the national campaign by providing fully comprehensive motor insurance on both Isuzu loan vehicles and on dealer supported initiatives such as this, leaving Open Kitchen MCR to concentrate on delivering food to those who need it most.”

Gallery: Open Kitchen MCR Isuzu D-Max