Last December, Armagh Foodbank provided 213 three-day emergency food supplies to local people in crisis, 116 of which went to children, and is concerned this December could be even busier as up to date this year we have seen demand double.
Covering the costs of increasingly cold weather and having children at home during the school holidays make December a difficult time for many people.
When this is paired with something unavoidable like a delayed benefit payment, illness or levels of benefits not covering the cost of essentials, people are pushed into crisis.
The Foodbank is a member of The Trussell Trust network, which this week has revealed food banks across the UK see a sharp spike in demand over December compared to the rest of the year.
In the lead up to Christmas 2017, people across Armagh pulled together to ensure the Foodbank had enough food and funds to ensure everyone referred was able to access emergency help.
The charity is encouraging anyone planning to support their work this Christmas to donate as soon as possible, to ensure stretched Foodbank volunteers have enough time to process and distribute generous donations during the busy lead up to Christmas.
Richard Thompson, Armagh Foodbank manager, said: “Every year, the Foodbank sees an increase in demand in December, but based on the help people have already needed this year, we think the lead up to this Christmas could be particularly busy.
“It’s not right that anyone in Armagh needs a Foodbank at any time of year. We’re working with other Foodbanks across the country to campaign for long-term change so hopefully we can reach a future where no one needs us.”
He added: “Whilst that work is underway, we’ll do all we can to make sure local people at risk of hunger this Christmas get crucial support.
“We’re extremely lucky that local people are so generous, especially at this time of year, because we rely on the people of Armagh to get help to people when it’s most needed. That’s why as we begin the busy month of December, we’re asking for your help to make sure that no one goes hungry this Christmas. Thank you.”
Throughout December, the charity will also be offering extra support, giving festive food, new toys and presents to people referred for help, alongside the standard emergency food parcel.
Donations of UHT milk, Tinned meat, Instant Mash, Tinned vegetables, toiletries and vital funds are particularly needed, and can be made by dropping off donations at Sainsburys, Armagh Rural Transport Office and the Ulster Bank which financial donations can also be made.
One Held Back Christmas giving project
Local hotels, Restaurants and Fast food are also getting involved by taking part in the One Held Back Christmas giving project.
When purchasing food, you can make a donation at the locations below and in return vouchers then can be given out to those in need so that they can have the luxury to purchase something nice from these restaurants.
Coffee shops: Bagel Bean (both shops), Craic’d Pot, Wright’s Soft Furnishings, Tin House Coffee, Allen’s, Rainbow café, The Basement, Armagh City Hotel, Charlemont Arms Hotel and Domino’s Pizza.