Craigavon Food Bank helps 785 people in three months

Volunteers at Lurgan Foodbank from left, Rachel McMichael, Betty Molloy, Cynthia Ferron, Helen McCormick and Marcella Ennis. INLM19-213.
Volunteers at Lurgan Foodbank from left, Rachel McMichael, Betty Molloy, Cynthia Ferron, Helen McCormick and Marcella Ennis. INLM19-213.

Almost 800 people were helped by Craigavon Food Bank within the first three months of this year.

Food poverty has become a ‘serious problem’ in the area, according to the organisation which has three stations in Lurgan, Portadown and Craigavon.

During the first three months of this year, a total of 785 people were helped by Craigavon Food Bank.

A spokesperson for CFB said there were 300 referals from various agencies from January to March which helped almost 800 people.

Agencies such as Health and Social Services, Citizen’s Advice, St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army, Mount Zion House as well as various churches all refered people who were struggling to cope.

“We are connected to other agencies and we are just one part of the jigsaw.”

Those helped ranged from families with babies, people on low income or on zero hours contracts, people with sickness or in debt, the homeless and victims of domestic violence.

The spokesperson said there was no typical age range from little children right through to the elderly. “I am counting 83 in the 0-4 age range in that time. A lot of young people in their 20s but it is right across the board,” said the spokesperson.

She described it as a ‘long term problem’. “Food poverty has a number of causes and many consequences,” she said. “This area is very busy so there is a need.”

Craigavon Food Bank is run by volunteers based at the three centres and warehouse.

“We rely on donations of food from Tesco and local churches,” she said. The type of food they supply ranges from pasta and cereal to tinned food. Those in need receive a three day emergency supply and can receive an emergency supply up to three times in six months.