Derry’s Foyle Foodbank appoints new development director as demand soars

Foyle Foodbank has appointed community worker and former MLA Karen Mullan to the role of Strategic Development Officer following a recruitment process.
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Karen, a graduate from Ulster University, is well known locally having worked in community development roles

Announcing the new appointment, the Foodbank said: “She has a proven track record in addressing difficulties and challenges faced by individuals and communities throughout the city and beyond and her considerable skills and experience will be of immense value to the Foodbank. The board of management at the Foodbank are deeply indebted to Trussell Trust, a UK wide charity which supports over 1,200 foodbanks, for funding the full cost of this two-year post. This will enable Foyle Foodbank to take part in Trussell’s Pathfinder programme aimed at determining and highlighting the causes of food poverty throughout the UK while encouraging foodbanks to take a more holistic approach to addressing issues of poverty in their area. The board members feel that Karen’s commitment and experience, working alongside James McMenamin, our existing operational manager, will bring considerable benefits at this challenging time when the demand for our services are at unprecedented levels. Working alongside Trussell Trust we want to create a future where no-one is forced to a charity for emergency food – a future where all our local and national systems provide the support needed to protect people from poverty.”

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In 2020 the Foodbank helped 6,805 individuals which increased by 230% to 15,735 in 2021. In a statement Denis McGowan, the chairman of the Foodbank, said; “During 2021 we distributed 96,732 tonnes of food which equates to 230,314 individual meals. We are only able to meet this huge demand through the selfless efforts of our volunteer workforce and by the continued generous support of our patrons and donors without which the Foodbank could not continue to operate.

Karen Mullan  is the new Strategic Development Officer at Foyle Foodbank.Karen Mullan  is the new Strategic Development Officer at Foyle Foodbank.
Karen Mullan is the new Strategic Development Officer at Foyle Foodbank.

“We act as a conduit between those who generously donate food, hygiene products and funds with those in food crisis. In these challenging times we are very pleased about Karen’s appointment. The Foodbank will benefit greatly from her previous experience and the qualities that she brings to the post will ensure that she will play an invaluable role in the interests of the wider Foyle community.”