Urgent appeal for donations to south Belfast foodbank

Local clubs have come together to help the community during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture by Hugh Russell

An urgent appeal has been issued for donations to a foodbank in south Belfast, which is facing "large demand" amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Volunteers involved in delivering donations on the Ormeau Road say "demand is much higher than the food being donated".

Sporting organisations - Bredagh GAA, Ormeau Boxing and Rosario Football Club and youth centre have joined forces to help their community during the Covid-19 pandemic, rallying together to offer assistance and support  the lockdown.

In a post on all the clubs Facebook pages, they said they were helping to collect and distribute donations.

"As part of our Community Outreach and Wellbeing activities, we have pooled our resources to ask our members to donate food and grocery items to help the most vulnerable citizens in our community," they said.

"The Good Shepherd Foodbank volunteers, with the approval of Father Hickland, have kindly allowed us the use of the foodbank store to accommodate food/grocery donations and deliveries."

But Malcolm McFarlane, chairperson of Bredagh GAC, last night appealed for more donations to their foodbank, as they were facing a "large demand" for the service from the local community.

"The food bank demand is much higher than the food being donated," he said.

"Can I ask as many people as possible to make an effort today and tomorrow to donate non perishable foods into the Good Sheppard parish centre between 10am and midday.

"We also have had a lot of people self-isolating who need prescription medicines collected from chemists and delivered to their front doors."

The official South Belfast Foodbank, which has been operating for five years, said its volunteers are still working during the coronavirus crisis.

It said: "We are getting food to all those referred by key agencies as much as ever but in a  different way.
"Our means of receiving donations has also changed for the time being as we are using monetary donations to bulk buy from wholesalers to minimise the amount of handling of items for our warehouse volunteers. 
"The safety of all our clients, volunteers and donors is paramount."

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