A new foodbank which has opened in London Street is helping local families who are struggling to put food on the table.
Rotary Foyle Foodbank opened its doors at 12 London Street in May of this year to help fight food poverty in the Derry City Council area.
In the first six weeks alone it provided three day emergency food parcels for more than 300 local people living in crisis.
John McMonagle, Chairperson of the Rotary Foyle Foodbank said: “It is shocking that so many people in this city are facing such genuine hardship. In recognition that people need practical help now, we have taken the initiative to work in partnership with community, voluntary, statutory groups and experts across the City to help tackle the effects of food poverty wherever it arises. Our key partner helping to deliver the foodbank is SureStart Edenballymore with support from local businesses and numerous community and voluntary groups throughout the area.
John explained that for the past number of years, the Rotary Club in the City has provided food hampers at Christmas time paid for through donations gathered at the ‘Tree of Remembrance’ at Foyleside. “Through this work we realised that food poverty exists in this community throughout the year and this was behind our decision to form the Foodbank”.
The Foodbank works in partnership with a network of Front Line Service Providers who are best placed to identify those in need with distribution partners holding a stock of vouchers and issuing these as needed to people they know to be in need.
The only criteria to be applied is that the person does not have money to buy food. To date, 45 groups and agencies have signed up to become distribution partners and over 700 vouchers have been issued. The distribution partners will also be working with the person/family to alleviate the underlying causes of the need for emergency food.
“Everyone in this city can help to alleviate food poverty and I wish to appeal to all the people of this city, who are renowned for their generosity, to get involved by supporting the distribution network or by donating an item of non-perishable food at the Foodbank in London Street or at the collection point at Sainsburys. The Foodbank is open for food parcel distributions between 12 noon and 1.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays.