Cost of Living Crisis hits Craigavon Area Foodbank as shelves lay bare despite demand for the service soaring by 61%

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Consistently empty shelves at Craigavon Area Foodbank are causing concern as the need for this service has soared by 61% in recent years.

Families and people young and elderly people in this area are in serious food poverty unable to afford the very basics to feed themselves and their children.

-

Read More
Lurgan man, who left hotels in Newry and Ballynahinch without paying bills, is j...
Consistently empty shelves at Craigavon Food Bank is causing concern as the level of donations drop while need for the foodbank has rocketed by 61% in the last five years.Consistently empty shelves at Craigavon Food Bank is causing concern as the level of donations drop while need for the foodbank has rocketed by 61% in the last five years.
Consistently empty shelves at Craigavon Food Bank is causing concern as the level of donations drop while need for the foodbank has rocketed by 61% in the last five years.

-

The generosity of the people in the Lurgan, Portadown and wider Craigavon area has been well appreciated by the food bank for many years however, as the Cost of Living Crisis grows, this has had a direct impact on donations.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Diane Guiney, Project Manager at Craigavon Area Foodbank said the Cost of Living Crisis has ‘directly impacted’ the foodbank.

She said: “There has been an increase in need for emergency food support, so more food is going out to individuals and families than ever before. Donations have decreased because people can’t afford to donate as much as in the past.

Consistently empty shelves at Craigavon Food Bank is causing concern as the level of donations drop while need for the foodbank has rocketed by 61% in the last five years.Consistently empty shelves at Craigavon Food Bank is causing concern as the level of donations drop while need for the foodbank has rocketed by 61% in the last five years.
Consistently empty shelves at Craigavon Food Bank is causing concern as the level of donations drop while need for the foodbank has rocketed by 61% in the last five years.

"Therefore, we have more need and less resources. The amount of people needing food support in the Craigavon area has increased by a massive 61% in the last 5 years. From 2022/23 to 2023/24 there was a 8% increase in need just in that one year.”

And she revealed: “In the past, we usually had enough food donated each month for that month’s food parcels. This has changed drastically. Last month for example, we gave out about 6 tonnes of food, but only received about 3 tonnes of donations. We have had to buy large quantities of food in the last 6 months, and cannot continue to sustain this level of purchasing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"For those who needed to use Craigavon Area Foodbank 3 times or more in 6 months, the statistics tell us that immigration status only account for 3% of those food parcels, but a huge 58% of people needing emergency food has been due to low income. This includes people who are working or on benefits who cannot afford the essentials.”

Diane suggested the best ways to help the foodbank continue to provode emergency food would be to donate financially via the QR code. “This would enable us to buy whatever we are short of any given time,” she said.

The QR code to help donate to Craigavon Food Bank in Co Armagh.The QR code to help donate to Craigavon Food Bank in Co Armagh.
The QR code to help donate to Craigavon Food Bank in Co Armagh.

Also she suggested donating food at one of their collection points – Craigavon Tesco, Lurgan Tesco, Portadown Asda, Lurgan Home Bargains. (This must be food purchased at that particular store).

She further suggested that people encourage their workplace, school, church etc to hold a food drive or fundraiser event.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And she suggested following the Trussell Trust at Joseph Rowntree Foundation “Guarantee our Essentials” campaign here or keep track of what items are needed the most, on the Craigavon Area Foodbank Facebook page.

Across NI new figures released revealed that more than 90,000 emergency food parcels were provided by food banks in the Trussell Trust network to people facing hardship in the past 12 months. Alarmingly 60,831 (74%) of these parcels were for families with children.

This is the most parcels the network has ever distributed in a year and a shocking increase compared to five years ago (143%) – a significantly higher increase than the UK. It also indicates that an increasing number of people are struggling to afford the essentials, with more than 23,700 people in NI using a Trussell Trust food bank for the first time.