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Heroes of Covid pandemic as fears the need for foodbanks is set to surge in coming months

Carla Lockhart, Craigavon foodbank
Carla Lockhart MP, Martin Stevenson, Diane Guiney, Cllr Margaret Tinsley

There are fears the need for foodbanks across Co. Armagh is set to surge in the coming months as the government’s furlough scheme comes to an end.

Many families have felt a significant drop in income since the beginning of the Covid pandemic and with the end of October looming, and government assistance slowing down, foodbanks like the one in Craigavon could become even more of a lifeline than it already is.

Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart, and DUP colleague Margaret Tinsley visited the foodbank at Carn Business Park last week to thank all those who have diligently served the Portadown, Lurgan and Banbridge communities.

Ms Lockhart heard first hand from the volunteers about the work being undertaken and to learn of the upcoming challenges.

“The work of local foodbanks has been one of the lesser told stories of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Ms Lockhart.

“With many families facing a significant drop in income, or no income at all in some cases, the need for this service has been pressing.

“I cannot thank the volunteers here enough, in other food banks across the constituency and community response teams, for the work they have carried out and continue to do in helping those in need.

“I know that they have helped many families who have reached out to my office in need of help. The confidentiality and professionalism of what the foodbank do is also to be commended.”

She added: “With the furlough scheme currently scheduled to finish at the end of October, the fear is that many will find themselves out of work and needing to avail of foodbanks. That is where Government must support the work being done here.

“I will be lobbying the Department for Communities to do more in this regard, so that supply is always able to meet demand.

“This service is here to help, and I would encourage anyone struggling to reach out. There is always help available, and the folk here will do all they can to help you through any difficulty.”

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