THE dedicated team at Mid Cheshire Foodbank have received some early Christmas cheer thanks to the kind donation of a van.

A refurbished Volkswagen Crafter was paid for by The Holroyd Foundation and repaired free of charge by C&C Vehicle Services, with a new exhaust donated by VW parts specialist TPS.

With the van ready to hit the road, it will provide a huge boost to the foodbank's efforts in meeting the soaring demand for its services this year.

Rodger Spurling, trustee of Mid Cheshire Foodbank, said: “We are so grateful to The Holroyd Foundation, C&C Vehicle Services and TPS for their generous donation of the van.

“The van is a huge blessing for us, as it will allow us to pick up food donations from multiple points, such as supermarkets and other donors, and distribute our emergency food parcels to our collection points.

“We would normally rely on a few of our volunteers to pick-up the donations in their own cars, as well as completing the food deliveries.

"However, now we have the van, it will be able to pick up and distribute the donations and it will provide a huge boost to our service.”

From April to October, Mid Cheshire Foodbank distributed food parcels to more than 3,000 adults and1,800 children in the Northwich and Winsford area – amounting to a 43 per cent increase in demand compared to the previous year.

Mid Cheshire Foodbank, which has received 51 tonnes of donations since lockdown, is expecting a further increase in demand over the Christmas holiday period.

Jake Ankers, trustee of The Holroyd Foundation, said: “Though their army of willing volunteers and supporters had to date serviced the Cheshire community using their own vehicles, there was a clear opportunity for Mid Cheshire Foodbank to reach more people than ever before, with a new delivery vehicle.

“Through our relationship with Cheshire Community Foundation, the need was brought to the attention of The Holroyd Foundation and, using our connection with C&C Vehicle Services we are thrilled to have been able to fund the purchase of a fit-for-purpose delivery vehicle.”

The van was handed over to the Mid Cheshire Foodbank team at their Northwich depot on Monday.