The cost of living crisis is taking its toll on several families within Northern Ireland, not excluding those who believed they were financially stable.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly a fifth of the population, including over 100,000 children, lived below the poverty line.
There’s no denying the recent spike in food and fuel prices has had a detrimental effect on those already struggling, and the fact that 1-in-14 households have an inability to access enough varied food for a healthy lifestyle, the importance of foodbanks to aid the most deprived families and individuals has never been greater.
Recent research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has identified that households will typically need to spend between 24% and 46% of their income on a food basket that only contains the minimum healthy essential foodstuffs.
In an attempt to put an end to the turmoil, food banks across Northern Ireland are playing pivotal roles in attempting to alleviate the food crisis, offering vital items to those who need them most.
Here are 25 food banks in operation across the country:
1. Belfast: Castlereagh Centre
Based on the Castlereagh Road, Belfast the Castlereagh Centre is currently requesting tins of tuna, tinned custard, washing-up liquid, bars of soap and bleach.
Its opening hours run from Tuesday and Thursday, 2:30pm-4:30pm
For more information visit: https://dundonald.foodbank.org.uk or call 02890799391
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2. Dundonald Food Bank
Dundonald Food Bank, based on the Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, opened in 2013.
Dundonald Food Bank gave 1,103 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis last year. The food bank is funded by local community groups and churches.
Its opening hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9am-12pm
For more information, visit: dundonald.foodbank.org.uk or call 02895 435310 / 07514 213900
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3. The Larder, St Christopher’s Church, Belfast
Based on Mersey Street, Belfast, The Larder is an emergency food bank which helps around 150 local people and families every month. Referrals are usually made by churches, local agencies and social services.
Opening hours: Tuesday 10am-11am, Thursday 7pm-8pm and Friday 10am-11am
For more information go to facebook.com/thelarderbelfast or call 07970626384
4. North Belfast Food Bank
North Belfast Food Bank is based on the North Circular Road, Belfast.
Opened in July 2013 by Rosemary Presybterian Church, North Belfast Food Bank has provided meals for 840 adults and 617 children between April 2021 and March 2022, totalling over 15,200 tonnes of food.
Opening hours: Tuesday 2pm-4pm and Thursday 6:30-8pm
For more information go to: northbelfast.foodbank.org.uk or call 07902099840