Food bank makes desperate appeal for help

A FOOD bank in North End is appealing for people to donate any spare food they can, after running out of supplies on this week.

Wednesday, 2nd August 2017, 2:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:05 pm
Helen Hitchings' son checking through a food bank donation

The food bank in North End Baptist Church, in Powerscourt Road, ran out of food to give to people – which volunteers are putting down to a sharp increase in demand at the start of the school holidays.

The food bank, which is donated food by residents and supermarkets in the area, opens on Tuesday evenings and Thursday afternoons.

Tuesday’s food shortage meant that two people who came to the food bank were set to leave empty-handed – until another family shared their food parcel with them.

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Tinned food, rice, pasta and biscuits are in exceptionally high demand – with UHT drink cartons, sauces and jam also needed.

Volunteer Helen Hitchings said: ‘There is meant to be another session tomorrow, but at the moment we aren’t sure if we will be able to open.

‘This isn’t the first time this has happened, if I’m honest – it happens from time to time in the summer holidays because some of us go on holiday and cannot collect food, and because schoolchildren are no longer receiving free school meals, so there are extra mouths to feed.’

Helen says that the supermarkets have been very supportive of the food banks, but that the high demand has been overwhelming.

She explained: ‘The supermarkets nearby have given their all for us, and we cannot be thankful enough to them.

‘However, the number of people who are coming through the doors means that we could certainly use an extra helping hand.

‘Hopefully this won’t keep happening, but with it being the summer holidays we have fewer donations coming but higher demand, which is a double blow for us.’

Tomorrow’s food bank session is opening at 1pm – Helen says that if people would like to donate, it would be great if they could come during the morning, so that the volunteers can organise the food before the afternoon.

Helen said: ‘Any help we get will be massively appreciated.

‘These people are really struggling, so it would be great to give them the support they urgently need.’

For more information people can call North End Baptist Church on (023) 9265 3635.