Larne Foodbank feeds 300 children in need

Alan Turner, Larne foodbank co-ordinator, pictured with some of the donated items stored at Craigyhill Methodist Church.  INLT 29-680-CON

Alan Turner, Larne foodbank co-ordinator, pictured with some of the donated items stored at Craigyhill Methodist Church. INLT 29-680-CON

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Larne Foodbank has fed 1,000 people - a third of them children – in the 18 months since it first opened its doors, the Times can reveal.

The service, designed to help those who are struggling to feed themselves and their families, has been inundated with requests for help from people in crisis in the borough.

And the charity expects a surge in the number of clients in the coming months.

Alan Turner, a volunteer with Larne Foodbank said: “It is difficult to comprehend the scale of the need we have seen – a need which has increased with low, fixed incomes in a time of inflation.

“The three prime causes of people being in need in the Larne area are homelessness, benefit delays and low income.

“With the advent of autumn and cooler weather, heating costs will start to impact on families’ budgets. We expect an increase in clients over the next few months.

“To meet this demand we continue to depend on referrers, donors and volunteers.”

An incredible 20 tonnes of food has been donated to Larne Foodbank since the service first threw open its doors last year.

And thanks to the efforts of over 60 volunteers, the service has reached a major milestone; providing emergency supplies to its 1,000th client.

Mr Turner expressed his gratitude to those who donate to the worthy cause, and he paid tribute to the team of volunteers who “give freely of their time and talents to ensure the Foodbank operates successfully”.

Larne Foodbank opened in March 2013, when several local churches teamed up with the Trussell Trust, the UK’s only food bank network, to establish the project.

The bank works in partnership with agencies in the town and people are referred via organisations such as Women’s Aid and the Simon Community.

Clients are given a voucher to take to the Foodbank, which will provide three days of long-life food to help an individual or a family cope with a difficult situation.

In addition to providing food, the bank will signpost clients to organisations that can provide longer term solutions.

Donations can be made to the following churches and businesses: First Larne Presbyterian, Cairncastle Presbyterian, Craigyhill Methodist, Larne Methodist, Salvation Army, St Anthony’s, St Cedma’s, St MacNissi’s, Larne Christian Fellowship, Old Presbyterian Church of Larne and Kilwaughter, Craigyhill Presbyterian, Gardenmore Presbyterian, All Saints Church of Ireland, Carnlough Methodist, Mulholland Funeral Directors, Spar at Ballygally, Crafty Copy and NFU Mutual.