THE NORTH Belfast Advice Partnership have raised over £400 for their annual Christmas Hamper appeal thanks to kind donations from local people.
The organisation recently held a Christmas coffee morning event at the Wolfhill Centre in Ligoniel.
This year, they are set to deliver 185 Christmas hampers to help families, care leavers, individuals who have just rehoused, older people and people in debt over the festive period.
Sinead McKinley, co-ordinator of the appeal, thanked everyone who attended the event and has supported this year’s Christmas hamper food drive appeal.
“This was one of a number of events by North Belfast Advice Partnership in the run-up to Christmas for our annual Christmas hampers appeal,” she explained.
“The community in North Belfast have been so supportive so far donating money and food items towards this year’s appeal.
“It’s all for a good cause. A Christmas hamper shows the basic items that some people require at Christmas time which can be such a tough time of the year for many.
SDLP MLA Nichola Mallon who attended the coffee morning highlighted the importance of food banks.
“In the run-up to Christmas, families that are struggling will find it even more difficult to provide for their children,” she said.
“As the rollout of Universal Credit continues, pressure on those most in need will continue to increase.
“I attended this local foodbank fundraiser, just like other SDLP representatives across the north will be assisting in their local foodbanks to do all we can to help families under pressure. This also requires more from government and all parties should be focused on the restoration of the institutions as soon as possible.”
A further food bank collection will take place outside Solitude this weekend before Cliftonville’s home game against Glenavon (Saturday, 3pm).
“Cliftonville FC have been so supportive of our food bank appeal and are once again supporting us this year,” added Sinead.
“We will have a team out collecting items so we would encourage all fans to bring an extra item of food with them to donate to a food parcel.”