Local community groups, workplaces and schoolkids are being urged to help collect foodstuffs for the Foyle Foodbank Christmas Drive.
Special posters and boxes are being issued to those interested in setting up a box, with volunteers collecting it when full.
Collection drop-offs will be set up at the Guildhall and Derry City Council offices from November 10th to 25th.
Speaking about the levels of need locally, Foodbank co-ordinator Louise Farren said they believed the need witnessed so far was “the calm before the storm”.
“This is why we are launching the Christmas appeal to try and get in as much stuff as possible so we can try and reach every family. We are expecting maybe up to 200 families this Christmas with us assisting to try tide them through.
“The foodbank will be opening extra hours to try and accommodate everybody coming to get their parcels.”
Redmond McFadden, board member of the Rotary Foodbank said the idea of the foodbank was developed after consultation with the community sector.
“We felt we were placed to provide that because we had no real affiliation to anyone, so we could get the food to a broader range without any of the political difficulties that existed within the city, he said, adding: “Since we have started out unfortunately we have been shocked at the need in our city and the growing requirement for food. We would imagine that the requirements are going to be higher in the six weeks leading up to Christmas.”
Mayor of Derry Brenda Stevenson said: “It’s very important we do look after those in our society who can’t look after themselves.”
Among the main items needed are tinned vegetables, pasta sauces, rice pudding, tinned meat and fish, instant mash potato, long-life fruit juice, rice and pasta, tinned fruit, UHT or powdered milk, and tinned or packet soup.
A full list of food collection points is available on the Rotary Foyle Foodbank’s Facebook page. To get involved telephone Louise on 07716129788.