More than 2k people in need of foodbank including almost 1,000 children in the Portadown, Lurgan and Craigavon areas
Almost 1,000 children in the Portadown, Craigavon and Lurgan areas are regularly reliant on the local foodbank, it can be revealed.
The foodbank further revealed its total stock is eight tonnes down on last year and volunteers appealed for help to donate more food during the summer months.
Thousands in need of foodbank
From January to June last year, a total of 944 adults and 687 children availed of their services, a total of 1631 people.
However this year from January to June this year, the figures have leapt by 20% with 1126 adults and 929 children using the service, a total of 2055.
Emma Beggs, Operations Manager at Craigavon Foodbank said: “That is a total increase of 20% in usage, but the largest increase is amongst children.”
And she revealed: “Our total stock is 8 tonnes down on last year, so we are worried about our reserves getting really low when most months this year we are giving out more food than we are getting in.
“We are currently asking for Long Life Milk; Instant Noodles; Instant Mash Potato; Instant Coffee; Tea Bags; Tinned Tuna.
“We are specifying ‘instant’ items as they have a low energy requirement and can be made with the cost of boiling a kettle, which is obviously a real concern with the cost-of-living crisis.”
What the public can do to help
Tescos Summer Food Collection campaign has begun with stores in the area offering a collection service for those who wish to donate food to Craigavon Food Bank.
Foodbank urges community to donate to summer food collection in Tesco stores
From Thursday 30 June to Saturday 2 July, Tesco customers at Portadown, Lurgan and Craigavon will be encouraged to pick up an extra item or two to drop in special donation trollies on the way out of store.
All food donations will be used to support people across the area who are experiencing hardship and will be forced to use a food bank over the coming months.
The collection has been organised by Tesco who will top up customers’ food donations with a financial donation of 20% of the value of the items donated, which will support Craigavon Foodbank in the provision of emergency food parcels and practical support.
Who is the Trussell Trust
The Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of over 1,300 food bank centres including Craigavon Foodbank, has seen long term increases in numbers of emergency food parcels distributed to people who are facing hardship.
Food banks in its network provided over 2.1 million emergency food parcels in the last year, with over 800,000 of these given for children. As soaring living costs continue to put pressure on families, food banks help make sure that people in crisis get the support they need over the summer period, and beyond.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, food banks are doing all they can to help meet the extra financial pressures that families are facing. But for many people, the coming months will be a particularly tough period as they struggle to cover the basic costs of living such as bills, food and other essentials.
“Food banks in our network always work incredibly hard to ensure that people facing hardship get support – but we have sadly seen need accelerate over the recent months. Food banks are calling on the public to support them by donating food to support people unable to afford life’s essentials.
“No one should have to go without something as essential as food, but I have no doubt that the generosity of Tesco customers and colleagues this summer will once again help food banks provide the best possible help to families facing hunger today, while working towards a future where everyone can afford the essentials in life – like food.
“Thank you for your generosity - together we can make a difference.”