If you’re currently unable to afford enough food to eat, or want to make a donation to a good cause, we’ve featured 10 top food banks in Northern Ireland below.
In 2013, Rosemary Presbyterian Church worked with local businesses and other Belfast-based churches to form the North Belfast Food Bank. They felt it was a part of their calling to reach out to those in the community who were experiencing hunger and lend them a hand up. The food bank works with The Trussell Trust to provide emergency food parcels to individuals and families while helping them find ways to improve their situation.
The South Belfast Food Bank was started in 2014 by Bruce Gardiner Crehan with the support of his place of worship, City Church Belfast. Since they opened their doors, they have been instrumental in helping members of their Belfast community keep food on their tables. With a referral from a professional agency, you can request a three-day supply of groceries consisting of dry goods and tinned food. Every effort is made to tailor the food to your needs.
Times are tough, and no one knows this more than the staff and volunteers at the Carrickfergus Food Bank. Founded in 2014 by churches, businesses and various other community members, the bank found a home at Jordan Victory Church. Visit them for a sit down where you can share coffee, tea and biscuit with a volunteer while they assess your dietary needs before preparing a parcel of non-perishable groceries designed to last for several days.
The Storehouse Food Bank in Bangor was created and continues to be supported by more than four dozen churches in County Down. This food bank works with local businesses and members of the community to reclaim or purchase nutritionally sound items for those in their area who might otherwise do without food. In addition to the grocery-filled hampers they provide, they hold a community lunch every other Sunday for all to attend.
The volunteers who founded the Ballymena Food Bank know how easily any member of the Ballymena community could slip into food poverty. For most, losing a job or a personal tragedy could take them from comfort to desperation in short order. Food banks are sometimes all that stands between misfortune and hunger. With a referral from a professional agency, those in need are eligible for one of the non-perishable food parcels they provide.
The Oasis Antrim Community Support Hub founded the Antrim Food Bank in 2016. Since then, they have been answering the call to supply members of the Antrim community with supplemental nutritional items to ease them through food insecurity. Operating through The Trussell Trust and the voucher system, they offer three-day emergency supplies of non-perishables and assistance in achieving a more food secure future.
Ten percent of the children in Northern Ireland suffer from food insecurity. Members of the Lisburn community formed the Lisburn Food Bank to fight against the hunger children and others in their area face. With a professional referral agency voucher, recipients can visit the food bank for several days’ worth of non-perishable food items and aid in getting more substantial help to put hunger behind them.
The lush glens and breathtaking coastline surrounding Ballycastle might make one think it’s paradise, but for some, the food poverty they endure masks the beauty around them. That’s why several churches established the Ballycastle Food Bank in 2014. Community members with a voucher from a referring agency can visit for an assessment of their needs and a receive a food parcel packaged based on their dietary needs.
The Out Reach Center in Omagh operates a program called the Reach Food Bag. Community members in need of help with their food supply can self-refer their household online for a parcel containing enough non-perishable groceries to get their family through at least five days’ worth of meals. The distribution center is open every weekday by appointment only, and volunteers will also assist with applications for more substantial assistance with nutritional needs.
10. CAP Food Bank
The CAP Food Bank in Newtownabbey was formed more than a decade ago by the congregation of Carnmoney Church. Realizing just how many people in their community were experiencing uncertainty about when their next meal might come, they took action to fight back against rising poverty and hunger. Residents with a professional referral are provided with a three-day supply of nutritional food tailored to their family’s dietary requirements.