Foodbank chosen to be Larne Mayor’s charity

Grant Robinson from Mulhollands; Sue Whitla from the Salvation Army; Ruth Kelly from St MacNissi's and StAnthony's churches; Lana McCann; and Kay Aiken pictured at the launch of the Larne Foodbank in Craigyhill Methodist Church Hall in March. INLT 13-355-PR
Grant Robinson from Mulhollands; Sue Whitla from the Salvation Army; Ruth Kelly from St MacNissi's and StAnthony's churches; Lana McCann; and Kay Aiken pictured at the launch of the Larne Foodbank in Craigyhill Methodist Church Hall in March. INLT 13-355-PR

Larne’s foodbank service is set to receive a significant boost after being selected as this year’s official Mayor’s charity.

The service, which provides free food to people in crisis, has helped about 300 people – including 95 children – since it was first established in March.

And Larne Mayor, Councillor Maureen Morrow, told the Times she was delighted to be supporting “such a worthwhile cause”.

She added: “Through my work with the MARA project (Maximising Access to Services, Grants and Benefits in Rural Areas), I have seen how some people in our borough are just scraping by financially and going from pillar to post.

“If they have an unexpected bill, they can be faced with the choice between buying food or heating their homes .

“It is shocking to think how many people are struggling to get by in this day and age, but it is great to know that there are services like the foodbank in place to support them in their most desperate hour.

“I want to pay tribute to the dedicated volunteers of Larne foodbank who are giving up their free time to provide a vital service for this community.”

Cllr Morrow also praised the churches who came together to establish the charity, and those churches who have since joined the ranks.

“It is great to see so many churches working side by side for such a fantastic cause,” she added.

The foodbank scheme, supported by the Trussell Trust – a UK-wide food bank network – relies on donations of non-perishable food.

Several churches and businesses throughout the town act as donation points, and the food is then collected and taken to a central hub at Craigyhill Methodist Church, where it is weighed and prepared for distribution on designated days during the week.

A minimum of three days emergency food is then passed on free to those in need.

And while Cllr Morrow urged people to continue donating non-perishable food at the various collection points throughout the borough, she added that the charity was also in need of monetary donations to help meet the cost of overheads.

A fundraising concert in aid of the foodbank is being held at St Cedma’s on Friday, November 8. Tickets cost £7 and those attending are also encouraged to donate a tin of food at the event.

The food bank is run by a dedicated team of local volunteers, and anyone who would like to help is asked to contact info@larne.foodbank.org.uk

Further information on the charity can be found online at www.larnefoodbank.org.uk