Annual North Belfast food bank drive launched

Sinead McKinley and Kathleen Kelly at the food bank in Ligoniel Improvement Association Sinead McKinley and Kathleen Kelly at the food bank in Ligoniel Improvement Association
By Conor McParland

A NORTH Belfast community organisation is appealing to the public for donations to its Food Bank in the run up to Christmas.
The annual drive by North Belfast Advice Partnership and Ligoniel Improvement Association is now welcoming donations for this year’s initiative to help local families across North Belfast.
Established in 2014, the food bank has assisted over 600 families with crisis intervention food parcels and a further 285 families with Christmas hampers. In addition, approximately 7,965 meals have been distributed to households in North Belfast to date.
Sinead McKinley, who is helping co-ordinating this year’s food drive is appealing for local people to help those in need this Christmas.
“People’s energy bills go up during the winter so this is easily the most important food bank drive of the year,” she explained.
“Food is always something people will cut back on because it is the easiest thing to cut back on.
“We would appeal for any donations this year. At the end of the day, these food parcels are going back into the local community. People are so overwhelmed when they receive their parcel
“Christmas is such a hard time for many families and a food bank is just one way of helping them during such a tough time.
“Since the establishment of this crucial service, we have relied on the generosity and support of individuals, community groups, sporting clubs to enabled us to continue to provide, what must be described as, a lifesaving resource.
“We’ve started our annual food bank drive and have set up a justgiving page to support the food bank. So far this year we have provided 2,496 meals for families and we have strived to provided nutritional meals including fresh food such milk, bread, vegetables and meat. In addition to this we have been supporting families with nappies, baby milk and baby food.
“Last year we delivered 185 Christmas hampers and referred others to St Vincent De Paul for support. It will be the same again this year so we would greatly appreciate your support as well as referring families or individuals to us for a hamper.”
Suitable long-life products include coffee, rice, pasta, sugar, jam, sauces, herbs and spices as well as baby food, nappies and toiletries, like shampoo and conditioner.
Donate to support the food bank at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/liafoodbank?utm_id=2&utm_term=Y6GbNmygy. Items can be donated to the food bank which is located at the Wolfhill Centre in Ligoniel.

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