By Darren Harkin
Reliance on emergency food parcels is at an all time high as more than 36,000 emergency food parcels were handed out in 2019. More than one third of these parcels were for households with children in Northern Ireland, according to Trussell Trust.
Chief Executive Emma Revie said, “What we are seeing year upon year is more and more people struggling to eat because they simply cannot afford food.”
The Trust suggest there was an estimated 4,599 food parcels handed out within County Derry between 2018 and 2019.
James McMenamin, Manager of the Foyle Foodbank commented, “Foyle Foodbank offers emergency food parcels for those who need a bit of extra help. Our service is totally confidential and our clients are treated with the utmost respect and dignity.”
The Foyle Foodbank can be found online at foyle.foodbank.org.uk and their telephone number is 02871263699.
The Trussell Trust is a nationwide network of food banks operating throughout the UK with the aim to provide emergency food for those in poverty.
In the UK between April 2018 and March 2019 the trust provided a record 1.6 million food supplies to those in need. A 19% increase on the previous year.
Supported by local churches, schools and businesses non perishable food is donated with large collections taking place all year round with Christmas being their busiest time.
A three-year study conducted by Heriot Watt University commissioned by the Trust found three key issues that leave people with no ‘protection from hunger and poverty.’
The report found problems with the benefits system and a lack of local support. These issues seem to increase the use of food banks as well as people’s life changing experiences from poor health.
Locally Foyle Food Bank work in conjunction with Trussell Trust and Apex Housing Association to provide support within the city.
Situated in the Springtown Industrial Estate anyone struggling locally is encouraged to make use of the services.