BALLYMENA Foodbank is appealing for food and toiletry items after it was revealed that their stocks are at an “all time low”.
The charity has seen an increase of people attending the local foodbanks due to a number of factors including delays in Universal Credit, benefit changes and extra meals needed for children who normally get school meals.
During the month of August the foodbank fed a total of 108 people, 66 adults and 42 children whilst from January 1 of this year to August 31 it fed 707 people in the Ballymena area - 423 adults and 284 children.
During the same period January - August 2018 the foodbank fed 552 people, increase this year of 155 people.
A spokesperson for Ballymena Foodbank explained that the top three reasons for attending a foodbank were “benefit changes/delays, low income and homelessness such as living in supported accommodation like the Simon Community or “sofa surfing”.
The spokesperson added: “All the food that is donated is weighed in, checked, dated and sorted onto our shelves for packing. A parcel is then made up and weighed out again once a person comes to the Foodbank with a voucher.
“We provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis.”
Ballymena Foodbank is currently appealing for the following items:
UHT milk, tinned meats, pasta sauce, tinned potatoes/Smash potatoes, tinned vegetables, gravy granules, long life fruit juice, tinned spaghetti, coffee, tea bags, biscuits, tinned fruit, custard, tinned rice, dried rice.
Whilst the foodbank has plenty of cereal, pasta and beans they need the items above to make a full three day parcel to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Also required are the following toiletry items:
Shampoo, conditioner, bars of soap, washing-up liquid, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant especially for men.
You can help by dropping the items at any of the following drop off points:
Items purchased in Tesco or Sainsburys can be dropped directly into the collection points in store.
Items purchased in other stores can be dropped directly to the Foodbank at Dream Centre, Ballee. Monday or Wednesday 11.00am – 1.00pm; Ballymena Foodbank Satellite Site at Ballyloughan Church, Thursday 10.00am – 12.00; Green Pastures Church, Monday - Friday 9.15pm - 4.00pm.