It’s the season of giving and in north Armagh it’s a sentiment that’s not lost.
And as people find themselves struggling to cope, they are being encouraged to reach out to those who can help.
Research from the Trussell Trust shows that food bank use in Northern Ireland has spiked by 13% in just six months compared to the same period last year.
And it is this shocking statistic which has led to SDLP representatives in Craigavon and Lurgan delivering food and support packages to a local food bank in the run up to Christmas.
SDLP Lurgan representative Ciaran Toman said: “Over the course of the last number of weeks, we’ve been calling on local people to come forward with whatever they can spare to support families in our communities who are struggling this Christmas.
“We have been overwhelmed with the response and the generosity of people here.
“Research published by the Trussell Trust paints a bleak picture of the experiences of hard working families across the North.
“And it’s an experience that the constituency office is familiar with. We have more and more people approaching us for help with benefit appeals or access to food banks.
SDLP Craigavon representative Thomas Larkham said people should never become numb to poverty, homelessness and need.
He added: “That’s why we’ve launched this appeal to support those in our own communities who are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
“It’s a position that any of us could find ourselves in.
“No one should have to rely on a food bank or on the generosity of their neighbours to get by.
“We are blown away by the generosity of the people in Upper Bann, I’d like to thank those who left donations into our SDLP office for St Vincent de Paul.
“This will really help struggling families.”
Become a member
Support local, independent businesses by becoming an independent member.Become a member