Feeding 1,200 of Manchester’s most vulnerable each day is no easy task, but thankfully an Isuzu D-Max Utility pick-up truck has been drafted in to help the essential service provided by Open Kitchen MCR. The new recruit has been supplied by Firbank Isuzu, Hollingworth, and is being used to deliver home-cooked meals to families in food poverty around Manchester.

Open Kitchen MCR was founded in 2018 as 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. The income generated from these catering services then funds community support work. Unfortunately, a number of future events have been postponed due to coronavirus but Open Kitchen MCR has taken this as an opportunity to help the public further. Taking referrals directly from Manchester City Council, they are using the food intended for conferences to feed the homeless, elderly and many more.

To help them feed as many people as possible, Hyde-based dealership, Firbank Isuzu in Hollingworth has loaned them an Isuzu D-Max Utility Double Cab. Built with the working professional in mind, the D-Max Utility is a true workhorse furnished with essential features like air conditioning and Bluetooth, for hands-free communication back to the Open Kitchen MCR base in south Manchester. Plus, this pick-up has been fitted with an aluminium canopy to provide plenty of covered space in the load bed to help collect food from donors and to deliver food to those in need.

Jonathan Miller, Company Director at Firbank Isuzu commented: “The D-Max’s load carrying capabilities and great reliability lend itself well to companies transporting vital equipment and supplies during this critical time. 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”.

Corin Bell, Director at Open Kitchen MCR, said: “We only have one van so, with the D-Max onboard, we’re able to collect and distribute twice as much food. 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”.

Isuzu UK has made 4 key commitments to help during the coronavirus pandemic as many of their customers form part of the ‘key worker’ group. In addition to keeping workshops open for essential services, Isuzu is pledging to loan its fleet and demonstrator vehicles, free of charge, to those businesses and services that need to get food and medicine to people who are most in need and are hardest to reach.

William Brown, Managing Director of Isuzu UK, remarked: “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. 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.”