South Belfast Foodbank
A network of support for struggling individuals and families
After twelve months in the planning, South Belfast Foodbank, part of a nationwide network supported by the Trussell Trust, first opened its doors in October 2014 and provides emergency food parcels for individuals and families. The parcels typically contain a range of foodstuffs, reflecting specific dietary needs, to create nutritionally balanced meals for a minimum of three days.
Six years later…
… and the impact cannot be overstated. South Belfast Foodbank is firmly embedded in the local community, has gained the trust of clients and built strong connections with referral partners. This volunteer organisation has provided over 270,000 meals to people in crisis and been responsible for the distribution of over 200 tonnes of food.
Since it’s inception, the South Belfast Foodbank has mobilised churches, sports clubs, schools and community groups to collaborate to combat poverty and hunger in South Belfast but also to campaign for change and to end the need for foodbanks in the UK.
Adapting in a year like no other
2020 was a year like no other for the Foodbank. The global pandemic, economic hardship and difficulties in accessing social welfare resulted in a surge of up to 80% more clients and an unprecedented 90% of clients being classed as destitute.
The traditional set up of clients being welcomed at one of four community hubs with a hot drink and a friendly chat to explore their circumstances had to quickly morph into an alternative delivery model that would ensure the safety of volunteers and clients whilst still offering compassionate support.
There has been an increase of 80% more clients and an unprecedented 90% of clients being classed as destitute
Rising to new challenges
This new approach has seen food parcels delivered directly to client’s homes. Volunteers have upped their game with additional training and now every client gets a telephone call on the day of their referral – to ensure their needs are being met, provide a listening ear and signposting onto other services. South Belfast Foodbank has strengthened partnerships with advice agencies to provide access for all clients to expert benefits advice. The food parcel has been expanded to include other essentials such as fresh food, toiletries, baby basics and pet food.
Since 2014, South Belfast food bank has
to people in crisis
Expanded our food parcels to include fresh foods, toiletries and baby basics.
Undeterred by the shifting sands that have characterised the start of this new decade, South Belfast Foodbank continues to explore opportunities to develop deeper and stronger connection with clients and to enhance the client experience yet maintain the ultimate ambition to achieve a just and fair society and eradicate the need for foodbanks.