Big-hearted students replenish food bank stocks with Christmas hampers

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The boss of the Churches Trust says the organisation has been overwhelmed by the generosity of a group of social work students at Magee who have replenished its vital food bank stocks with 109 hampers this Christmas.

Fiona Fagan, Chief Executive of the interdenominational Christian organisation, expressed her gratitude after members of the Ulster University’s Stand Up for Social Work Society presented the fruits of an advent food bank campaign to the trust in the Great Hall in Magee.

“We are overwhelmed by the spirit of generosity in terms of time and resources that the students have shown during this project.

“Together they have generated enough food to replenish our food bank stocks at this time of the year.

“Many families and individuals experience hardship and this contribution will go a long way towards alleviating this for a number of people.

“The Pantry project feeds over 2,400 people a year. We do this on the basis of community giving to community. The social work students of Ulster University, Magee campus, have significantly contributed to the benefit of the local community,” she said.

Social work lecturer and course director, Denise MacDermott, said: “The response by the society this year was phenomenal. They managed to provide 109 hampers for individuals and families across the North West.

“The Churches Trust ran out of food donations and had 22 families on their waiting list for help.

“I am so proud of our social work students - especially with assignment deadlines looming they gave their time and energy to this worthy cause.”

The social work students want to thank the customers of Costcutters in the Ráth Mór Centre, staff at Sainsbury’s Strand Road and members of the Encore Contemporary Choir who gave up their lunchtime to share some festive cheer by singing Christmas carols during the handover.