Helping the needy during the pandemic

Written by | Charity, News

Former Wallace pupil Lynsey Agnew (Foodbank Manager) has clear evidence of the economic impact of Covid19 on our local community. In March 2019 the foodbank, based in Graham Gardens, supported 127 requests; in March 2020 requests increased by over 100% with 272 individuals/ families supported. The foodbank is offering sustained support to the needy of the district as staff are working every day. A new model of working is in operation; to prevent clients coming to the centre a delivery service is operational and a skeleton staff work on the premises to create the food parcels. Usually, the food bank is staffed by a team of volunteers but as many are within the vulnerable age categories the service is largely operated by the official staff members.

The foodbank is working in co-operation with its usual referral agencies and in tandem with the council is providing shielded parcels which are weekly food boxes for elderly or vulnerable people who have no family or friends living nearby to support them.

Local churches are a source of practical help and encouragement to the food bank staff as donations of goods are received regularly from churches throughout the Lisburn area but due to the ban on public gatherings no practical contributions can currently be made. Members of the public can donate to the foodbank at the permanent collection points at Tesco in Benson Street or Sainsbury’s at Sprucefield and financial donations will be gratefully received at this link.

Lynsey commented:

“The need for our services doesn’t go away because there’s a pandemic; in reality, the need is greater than ever. We are very conscious that once the lockdown is relaxed we will need to issue an appeal for donations of food and other specified items to our many church partners who give us great, regular support. At present, financial donations are invaluable and we are immensely grateful to those who have given to us in the past weeks.”

In recent years the Wallace family has collected Easter eggs and seasonal treats to donate to the foodbank. Thanks to the good offices of our Head of Maintenance Mr Colin McCutcheon some Easter eggs which were already in school made their way to Graham Gardens and we hope they brought some Easter joy.

Last modified: April 22, 2020