Rivus Fleet Solutions has donated a Ford Transit to the Trussell Trust to help support food banks in the Coventry area. The vehicle was already being loaned to Coventry Foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust network, on a no-cost basis by Rivus – and now the vehicle is officially theirs.
The handover took place last week after a full service, so the van is now ready for more action in helping support people who cannot afford food. Coventry Foodbank is one of the largest in the country and the handover of the vehicle comes at an unprecedented time for them, with need jumping by 30% in the last month during the coronavirus crisis. The food bank now forecasts that it will feed up to 36,000* people in Coventry this coming year, compared with 28,500* in 2019.
The coronavirus crisis has also changed the way Coventry Foodbank is now operating. Previously, the team would deliver food to a series of hubs where it would then be handed out, whereas now the focus is on home deliveries. This is especially important to help those who are vulnerable and cannot get out of their homes. The van will also be used to support other organisations that are doing similar community work, including councils and other trusts.
Hugh McNeill, Project Manager at Trussell Trust’s Coventry Foodbank said: “It really helps to get the van on a permanent basis and is one less thing to worry about as we focus on supporting those in need. The gesture from Rivus is greatly appreciated and the van will continue to play a vital part in our service.”
Hugh adds: “We’re busier than ever due to increased need over the last month. Thankfully, donations of food have also increased, which really helps to balance the rising number of people needing support – but we always need more donations. We’re working hard to ensure our food bank can continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food and additional support for people in crisis so this support from Rivus is vital – thank you.”
The current national emergency is the second high-profile crisis that their Ford Transit has been used for. In 2017, it was used to bring back some surplus food which was originally donated to London food bank centres to help victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. This food was stored by Coventry Foodbank, before being sent back to local food banks in London.
Michael Scheidler, Chief Development Officer at Birmingham-based Rivus, said, “We’re doing what we can to help at the moment and we had no hesitation in helping a great cause like the Trussell Trust. When we saw the opportunity to donate the van to them, it was an easy decision and we’re more than happy to help out in this way.”
About Rivus Fleet Solutions
Rivus Fleet Solutions, formerly known as BT Fleet, is the UK’s largest end-to-end fleet management company. The company provides vehicles designed to suit individual sector and/or customer needs and a complete fleet management solution that includes servicing, maintenance, repairs, MOTs, mobile support, accident management, leasing, rentals and custom design services. All vehicle types are available with full-service support, up to and including HGVs. Rivus has also integrated new low-carbon technologies into its product range, with fully electric vehicles available too.
About Trussell Trust
The Trussell Trust was founded in 1997 and supports a UK-wide network of food banks which provide emergency food to people in crisis, and additional support to help tackle the root causes that sweep people into poverty and build people’s resilience so they are less likely to need a food bank in the future. The organisation supports over 1,200 food bank centres across the UK, and provides emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, while also campaigning for change to end the need for food banks.
*This is a figure of volume users rather than one off visitors.