Last year saw Causeway Foodbank collect and distribute more food to help a greater volume of people in need than in 2013.
The Foodbank reached further into the community by opening a distribution centre in Ballycastle and developing one soon to be launched in Limavady. All of this was made possible with the support of Roadside Garages Coleraine with their generous sponsorship of the Causeway Foodbank van.
“Thanks to the support and partnership with Roadside Garages Coleraine we have been able to develop and maintain partnerships with local supermarkets and communities to help reach local people in crisis with emergency food,” explained Melanie Gibson, Causeway Foodbank Manager.
“In 2014 we collected 11.8 tonnes of food in the Causeway Foodbank van with 6 tonnes of this food donated and collected by our incredible generous Causeway community within the six weeks prior to Christmas. These donations have all helped local people in a time of crisis or emergency, providing an emergency food pack that contains enough food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for at least three days.
In the run up to Christmas, Causeway Foodbank had tremendous fun out in the community at different events including the National Tesco Collection weekend in Limavady, Coleraine and Portstewart. During an awareness & collection day in Asda Coleraine the shoppers were entertained with festive music from some Foodbank ‘buskers’. We were invited to have a stall at the Ballycastle Christmas Market and our permanent collection points at Sainsbury’s and Tesco Coleraine and Co-Op Ballycastle never seemed to empty!”
Staff at Moore’s Coleraine and Northern Regional College Coleraine and Ballymoney along with the pupils of Ballycastle High School all collected food for the Foodbank as well as a number of individual food donations from the community to support their local community.
Melanie added: “At Causeway Foodbank we are so thankful for the individuals and organisations who have supported us throughout 2014 and at Christmas time. This year thanks to your generosity we distributed over 260 Hampers of Hope in Coleraine & Limavady along with toys for 226 children generously donated from the Cool FM/Downtown Radio Cash for kids programme”.
With the assistance of the Foodbank van, the local community & an incredible team of dedicated and hardworking volunteers in the week before Christmas the Causeway Foodbank provided emergency food for 147 people in our community. This figure is 3 times more than the same Christmas week the previous year in 2013.
Melanie explained, “Roadside Garages have supported Causeway Foodbank since 2011 and the provision of the Causeway Foodbank van to the team has been invaluable in enabling us to help the community at a time of crisis or emergency.”