5.4 C
Ballymoney
Thursday, April 22, 2021

Minister praises multi-agency approach as over 23,000 food packages are delivered to the vulnerable
M

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA, today praised council staff and local voluntary and community groups for enabling the delivery of more than 23,000 food packages to the most vulnerable in society during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister visited Mid Ulster District Council’s Food Distribution Centre at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena in Cookstown – one of 24 food distributions centres established by the councils.

- Advertisement -

Earlier in the day the Minister also saw first-hand the vital contribution being made by voluntary and community groups when she visited 174 Trust in North Belfast.  A food hub has been set up in Duncairn Arts Centre.In Belfast at the 174 Trust the Minister is pictured with (L-R) Marie Fennell, joint coordinator of the Community Food Bank in Duncairn Arts Centre and volunteer Jackie Donnelly. 

- Advertisement -

Minister Hargey said:

“My Department has led on this very important piece of work, however, it would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of a number of key partners including the Local Councils, Health Trusts, food suppliers and of course the Community and Voluntary Sector who are working at the grass roots of this crisis.

- Advertisement -

“These are very challenging times for all of us, however there are those in society who are facing the added pressure of self-isolating and some facing food insecurity and this service is absolutely vital in helping to alleviate that pressure.”

The food package service has been in operation since 7 April and was set up to help those most at risk of food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes those who are shielding having been contacted by their GPs, as well as people who are financially vulnerable or who may be experiencing difficulties physically accessing food.

The food packages are delivered to the Council hubs and from there are distributed by Council employees, often working with local voluntary and community organisations.

This initiative, which has been led by the Department for Communities, has seen the number of food boxes rising week on week with referrals coming in from a number of sources including the Department’s COVID-19 Community Helpline, the HSC Trust Triage service and the local community and voluntary sector.

Minister Hargey concluded:

“I have been impressed with how quickly and effectively partners have pulled together to mobilise this scheme. It was heartening to hear from those delivering the food parcels to the door of those in need of the positive impact the service is having on their lives at this difficult time.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

LATEST

Mayor welcomes progress on International Appalachian Trail improvements

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has visited part of the International Appalachian Trail overlooking Magilligan where improvement work is helping to enhance the renowned walking route. Alderman Mark Fielding joined contractors Campbell Civils at the picturesque Gortmore Viewing Point to see progress on the installation of…

Police welcome sentencing of two men on drugs offences

Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Organised Crime Unit have welcomed the sentencing of two men at Antrim Court earlier today, Tuesday...

24-year-old male arrest under the Terrorism act

Detectives from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force investigating the criminal activities of the North Antrim UDA have arrested a 24 year old man during...

Let’s go Nordic walking with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Sports Development Team

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Sports Development Team is offering residents of all fitness levels the chance to try Nordic walking. A series of six guided group walks, using Nordic walking poles, will take place across some of the Borough’s most beautiful forests, parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural…