A NEW service designed to help people who are struggling to feed themselves and their families was officially launched in Larne this week.
A number of local churches have joined forces to set up Larne food bank, an initiative which provides free food to people in crisis.
The scheme, supported by the Trussell Trust – the UK’s only food bank network – relies on donations of non-perishable food.
A minimum of three days emergency food is then passed on free to those in need.
The bank works in partnership with agencies in the town and people are referred via various organisations.
Already, more than two tonnes of food has been gathered, which will now be distributed to those in need throughout the borough.
And those behind the food bank are calling on local people to continue donating to the cause.
A spokesman said: “We are grateful for the receipt of food to date, but we require further donations.
“Long-life food of the following type is sought – milk (UHT or powdered), sugar (500g), fruit juice, tins or packets of soup, pasta sauces, tins of sponge pudding, tins of tomatoes, cereals, tins of rice pudding, tea bags, instant coffee, instant mash potato, rice, pasta, tinned meat or fish, tins of vegetables, tinned fruit, jam, snack bars.
“Please note that for insurance reasons we cannot distribute food that is out of date or damaged.”
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, Mulholland Funeral Directors, Spar at Ballygally and NFU Mutual.
In order to obtain food, a client must have a voucher issued by one of the following referring churches or organisations: First Larne Presbyterian, Cairncastle Presbyterian, Children’s Disability Team, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Larne Methodist, Salvation Army, St Anthony’s, St Cedma’s, St MacNissi’s, Simon Community, Women’s Aid and various social services.
Food can be collected at Craigyhill Methodist Church on Mondays from 1.00pm to 3.00pm, Wednesdays from 5.00pm to 7.00pm and Fridays from 10.00am to noon.
In addition to providing food, the bank will signpost clients to organisations that can provide longer term solutions.
Anyone who would like to volunteer to help the Larne food bank service is asked to contact email@example.com