South Belfast Foodbank is in its 6th year of operations. It is supported by 29 local churches as well as businesses and individuals. It operates with over 90 volunteers who manager, Bruce Gardiner Crehan, wants to especially thank this Volunteer Week.
South Belfast foodbank usually operates face to face foodbank sessions 5 days a week in 4 different locations Mornington Community Project, Belvoir Community Hub, Common Grounds and Friendship House to enable as many people as possible to be reached..
Volunteers welcome clients and chat to them over a cup of tea. The aim is to come alongside to show they care and to signpost to other agencies that can help to address the root cause of the food poverty. Meanwhile a team is packing the food parcel to the client’s requests.
Mr Gardiner Crehan said, “To ensure the safety of our clients and volunteers at this time, we quickly adapted our processes. We are now delivering 5 days a week and also Referral Agencies can pick up food boxes to deliver directly to their clients.”
Sadly, we are currently unable to do our face to face support but clients receive a phone call where signposting to further support can be done
Food is packed by small family teams and delivered within a strict social distancing policy. Jenny, a volunteer for 2 years, enlisted the help of her husband to become one of the packing teams. Jenny first joined the food bank when she retired from a job she loved in the medical profession. She said, “ I wanted to do something useful and to give something back to benefit the community in which I live. It has given me a sense of purpose especially at this time. I feel volunteering with South Belfast Foodbank has given me more than I have given it.” Jenny’s husband, Stephen, joined her to make a family packing team and has found an unexpected fulfilment in being able to help in this way.. His organisational skills have shone in the packing room and he likes to think of the person opening the box he has packed.
There are also many volunteers behind the scenes co ordinating and managing food supplies, managing processes, finances and Health and Safety. Miss Victoria Duncan, Administration Assistant said, “We usually try to have a thank you get together to show our gratitude to our faithful volunteers, some of whom have been with us from our first day of opening, but sadly we are unable to do that this year. We want to take this opportunity to let them know how much we value their faithful service. The foodbank could not exist without them and we want to celebrate each and every volunteer. ”
Our hashtag is #More Than Food and we strive to live up to that.
We are there to help anyone in South Belfast who finds themselves struggling to afford food.
If you or someone you know needs our help please phone 07743332489 or email [email protected]