One of North Yorkshire’s leading hotels and restaurants has turned its social media engagement into donations to help people in need across the region.

The Wensleydale Heifer at West Witton, near Leyburn, recently pledged to donate £1 of food per new “follower” it received on its new Instagram feature “Posts from The Pass”, up to the value of £500.

While the hotel welcomes hundreds of guests to stay and dine each week, there are many more who can’t get there. To sate their appetite until their next visit, every night at 7.30pm the team gives a look behind the scenes in the professional kitchen by posting a tempting photograph on Instagram of what’s coming off the pass and making its way to a lucky table.

This virtual look has been extremely popular with many hundreds of new followers being added to the Heifer’s Instagram account.

To make good on their pledge, owner David Moss and his 6-year-old daughter Thia made their way with hundreds of pounds of food to both the Storehouse foodbank, part of the Influence Church in Richmond and Hambleton FoodShare in Northallerton.

Both foodbanks help thousands of people in need across North Yorkshire every year, providing them with food, toiletries and other essentials.

David said: “The Posts from the Pass feature is a fun way to show what we’re doing at the Heifer and share it with a wide audience.

“However, we’re aware that we’re incredibly lucky and wanted to support these great community projects to help whose who may be in crisis or need some additional support.

“Both Storehouse and Hambleton FoodShare do great work in their communities to help people in their time of need and we hope this will be an ongoing relationship with both of them.

“As well as regular donations from ourselves as a local business, we are setting up a collection point at the Heifer for those who wish to contribute to the foodbanks.”

Suz Gregory, Community Manager at Influence Church, said: “Rural poverty can be hidden and often people come to us in crisis. Donations such as those from The Wensleydale Heifer are incredibly important in helping us to continue to meet the needs of the people of Richmondshire and we’d like to say a huge thanks to them.”

Margaret Brice, Project Coordinator of Hambleton FoodShare, said: “We provide emergency food parcels for people struggling to feed themselves and their families. Keeping our stocks high throughout the year is vital and we would like to thank the team at the Heifer for their kind donation which will go a long way to helping us support people locally.”