One of the groups behind a food bank service in Inishowen says the past number of days has highlighted the absolute need for the service.
Spraoi agus Spórt in Carndonagh is uring people to donate to the newly established Inishowen Food Bank, saying it provides a vital lifeline for vulnerable individuals and families who are finding it difficult to make ends meet during the Covid-19 crisis.
Helen Nolan, one of the founders, says it's an initiative with involvement right across the peninsula, and the need for the service has become evident in recent days...........
Statement in full -
Spraoi agus Spórt in Carndonagh has appealed to the public to donate to the newly established Inishowen Food Bank – which provides a vital lifeline for vulnerable individuals and families who are finding it difficult to make ends meet during the Covid-19 crisis.
Spraoi agus Spórt are also encouraging people who are in need of other supports such as grocery or prescription deliveries to avail of their ‘Project Cineál’ service (Irish for ‘kind’).
Supported by Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP), the Inishowen Food Bank was set up in early April 2020. It has brought together a number of charities throughout the peninsula (including The Exchange, Buncrana; Spraoi agus Spórt, Carndonagh; Trinity Court, Newtowncunningham; Moville & District Family Resource Centre and Muff Red Cross) to collect donations of food and toiletries to distribute to local people in need.
Co-founder and CEO of Spraoi agus Spórt Helen Nolan said: “I have been overwhelmed by the amazing generosity and support from local businesses and individuals who – in the space of only a few weeks – have donated huge amounts of food and toiletries to this project and have volunteered their time to the operational running of the Inishowen Food Bank.
“More and more people throughout the peninsula are finding themselves struggling to put food on the table, which is of particular concern for older and more vulnerable people and for a significant number of families.
“As demand soars due to the ongoing lockdown and social distancing measures, this will undoubtedly lead to depleted stock levels and our ability to provide much-needed parcels for families containing nutritionally balanced supplies of non-perishable food as well as toiletries.
“I am therefore appealing to members of the public to continue to support our efforts by donating food and toiletries at our drop off / collection points. In Carndonagh, these are located at Supervalu, Simpsons and G&S supermarkets and at the porch of Unit 6 Spraoi agus Spórt.
“Suggested items that we are encouraging people to donate include:
- Jars – pasta sauce, jam, marmalade, baby food
- Tins – baked beans, chopped tomatoes, soup, tuna
- Store Cupboard – cooking oil, pasta, rice, tea bags, coffee, sugar, cereal
- Toiletries / Cleaning – soap, shampoo, toilet roll, washing up liquid, toothpaste, baby wipes, nappies
“I would urge people who are now finding themselves in food crisis – possibly for the first time as a result of the lockdown – to please get in touch with us as soon as possible.
“It is also important to stress that the Inishowen Food Bank is a strictly confidential service – with no questions asked – and has been set up to support anyone in need during the Covid-19 emergency.
“To avail of a free parcel from our Food Bank please call our helpline on 074 937 3303 (Monday-Sunday 8am-8pm), email email@example.com or complete the order form online using the link https://www.surveymonkey.com/
“The online order form has also been created to help us identify individual / family dietary requirements or needs – and our phone operators will be able to provide additional assistance.
“Following the lockdown measures introduced in March we also set up Project Cineál at Spraoi agus Spórt to support vulnerable people in the community. This initiative offers a wide range of supports such as dealing with grocery and prescription orders, arranging deliveries from local supermarkets and businesses, providing arts & crafts and exercise ideas, printing school resources, and generally just being available on the end of the phone for a chat.
“The Project Cineál service has had significant take-up, with over 90 families benefitting, and is greatly appreciated by everyone who has availed of it. Indeed, one example of someone who has benefitted from our service is an elderly lady who lives alone in a remote area of Inishowen. She has an underlying health condition and has not seen her children for 7 weeks due to ‘cocooning’. She therefore avails of the Project Cineál service to get her prescriptions and shopping and has said: “I could not ask anyone else to do this for me – and words cannot describe how grateful I am”.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to everyone who has already donated to the Inishowen Food Bank and to our fantastic team of volunteers from Carn GAA, Malin GAA, Carn FC, Inishowen Rugby Club and Inishowen Athletics who have given up so much of their time to support both the Food Bank and Project Cineál.
“Importantly, it has become ever more apparent just how vital these community services are for vulnerable people throughout Inishowen – especially during this challenging time. Indeed, we anticipate the number of users availing of our services to continue to increase week-on-week whilst Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.
“I’d therefore once again reiterate my appeal to the public to please give generously in support of these vital services either by donating to the Food Bank at the collection points or alternatively if they would prefer to make a financial contribution to contact Spraoi agus Spórt on our helpline – 074 937 3303. Indeed, any donations, big or small, are much appreciated. I would also urge anyone who might need a food parcel or the services provided by Project Cineál to call our helpline or email firstname.lastname@example.org “