‘Hampers of Hope’ to aid local families

Melanie Gibson, foodbank manager, and her team of the Causeway Vineyard Foodbank pictured with Sheila Palmer of ASDA Coleraine who have made a donation to the Christmas appeal. INCR50-313PL
Melanie Gibson, foodbank manager, and her team of the Causeway Vineyard Foodbank pictured with Sheila Palmer of ASDA Coleraine who have made a donation to the Christmas appeal. INCR50-313PL

A project that provides local families in need with a Christmas food hamper, has been boosted by the Asda Foundation.

Last Christmas Causeway Foodbank in partnership with CAP (Causeway Coast Debt Centre) distributed 50 ‘Hampers of Hope’ to families in the Coleraine area.

Families recieving the hampers had connected with the Vineyard Foodbank or CAP throughout the year.

CAP offers hope and a solution to anyone in debt through its in-depth, confidential service.

The Foodbank provides short term, emergency food for individuals or families in crisis while a long-term strategy is developed.

Many clients to both services have been refered by frontline care professionals.

They are then issued a Food Voucher, that can then be exchanged for a food pack at any of the Causeway Foodbank Distribution centres.

This year, the volunteers involved in the project hope to double the number of hampers that they distribute, thanks to funding of £700 from the ASDA Foundation through ASDA Coleraine.

Melanie Gibson, Causeway Foodbank Manager explained: “We are aiming to make and distribute 100 ‘Hampers of Hope’ into the Causeway area this Christmas time.

“Our hampers contain lots of Christmas treats and staples, as well as some basic cupboard items to help people over the holiday period.”

Christmas can be a stressful and very expensive time for families.

Research shows that families can struggle to provide basic foods, during a crisis or when it comes to Christmas.

Melanie went on: “Christmas can put extra pressure on some people, and that’s when we step in to help.

“A simple box of food can make a big difference to a family or indivdual in need.

“It is also very rewarding for our volunteers to be able call with someone with one of our hampers.

“It restores a little bit of hope, and the worry and stress of Christmas be lessened by a simple box of food, it is an incredible thing.”

Food from the hampers comes from donations to the foodbnk.

Donation stations are in located in local supermarkets.

“All of our hampers are put together and distributed by a team of volunteers,” explained Melanie.

“We couldn’t do with out them.

“They are tirelessly giving their time and resources to make Christmas special for families in need in our community.”

So what’s inside a hamper?

Hampers provide balanced and nutritional meals for three days.

They include items like cereals, milk, fruit juice, soup, pastas, meat/fish, pudding and vegetables.

How can you help?

It’s easy to donate.

Simply pick up an extra item whilst you are doing your weekly shop in Sainsbury’s, Coleraine or in Asda Coleraine, and leave it in the trolley for the food bank.

Your donated item will then be collected by Vineyard volunteers, and used to help a family or a person in need.

This Saturday, December 13, Asda in Coleraine will be hosting a special event to highlight the work of CAP and the Causeway Food Bank.

Come along and donate an item to the festive hampers between 10am and 4pm.

Volunteers will be on hand to explain the work the local charities do and there will be festive entertainment and music for you to enjoy.

Are you doing a special charity event for Christmas?

Call our news desk on 028 703 57610.