Food poverty relief charity Fareshare has taken delivery of two refrigerated vans donated by Coolkit to help it step up deliveries to charities across the UK during the coronavirus crisis.

Fareshare already ran 14 Coolkit fridge vans but urgently needed to upscale to meet increased demand caused by the lockdown.

James Persad, at FareShare, said: “We are working extremely hard to deliver vital food supplies to those in need, so these vans play an extremely important role in ensuring that the food reaches people safely.”

Coolkit, a Burnley-based manufacturer of temperature-controlled vans, says it is battling to maintain supplies to pharmaceutical companies and food retailers during the Covid-19 pandemic despite having been forced to furlough 70% of its workforce.

Now operating with a skeleton team of 25, the firm says it continues to produce refrigerated van conversions for the safe delivery of pharmaceutical products and foodstuffs to frontline organisations nationwide, although it claims work being carried out for medical and pharmaceutical requirements is confidential at this time.

Rupert Gatty, CoolKit chief exec, said: “The most important things needed around the country right now are drugs and food supplies and we are helping our customers increase the safe transportation of these products.”

Gatty says Coolkit is striving to overcome the obstacles raised by the closure of most of the LCV dealers and components suppliers from which it sources its vans and parts, as well as that of its partners in the conversion chain, such as livery companies, fridge manufacturers and telematics installers.

“I’m lucky to have a knowledgeable and determined team who are pulling out all the stops to get these conversions completed and delivered to where they need to be,” Gatty said.