Online food and drink retailer Approved Food has made a further raft of charity donations – co-ordinated by the company’s new charity volunteer Neil Waine.

As street kitchens begin to reopen under the easing of lockdown, Neil and Approved Food MD Andy Needham have ensured there is plenty food and drink to go around.

Five pallets of pasta, rice, tinned vegetables, cooking sauces and baking ingredients, along with essential toiletries, sanitary products, pet food and baby care items, were collected from the company’s Barnsley HQ by volunteers from street kitchens in Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Halifax, Rotherham and Wakefield.

Approved Food has contributed supplies to a wide range of good causes over the past decade: supporting the Huddersfield Town Foundation on various projects including the Big Sleep Out; giving energy boosts to cyclists raising money for a Sheffield Cancer Centre and donating significant amounts of stock for food banks across West Yorkshire and beyond.

Huddersfield Street Kitchen and mental health support group Andy’s Man Club – based in Andy’s hometown of Huddersfield – have also benefited from contributions.

While previous donations have been made on something of an ad hoc basis, Neil hopes to co-ordinate the process in order to reach out to even more individuals and families in crisis. Volunteering two days a week, he will continue to build relationships with organisations such as food banks, street kitchens and women’s refuges.

Neil is no stranger to the work of Andy’s Man Club. After going through what he describes as the hardest times in his life over several years, including illness, injury and redundancy, Neil found himself at rock bottom. Unsure of where to turn, he reached out to AMC and has never looked back.

“To say this organisation has transformed my life is an understatement,” said Neil, who now helps out at the club and also at Huddersfield Street Kitchen.

“Andy has been a huge supporter of this organisation and this role is the perfect synergy to work together to help as many people as we can. There are many good people out there, some just happen to be struggling in one way or another, and the best thing we can all do is help, whether that be in terms of giving time, money, support, donating food or simply being there for someone.”

Andy added: “To see our car park full of cars collecting for local Street Kitchens was a very satisfying sight – and I’m delighted that we have plenty more donations in the pipeline.”