LETTERKENNY’S food bank is to hold a “significant fundraiser” to meet challenges being brought on by soaring fuel prices and a drop in donations.
We Care Food Bank is currently supporting between 540 and 580 households in the region.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Fintan McGrath, Public Relations Officer, We Care Letterkenny Food Bank, said demand remains as high as Covid-19 pandemic levels.
“It’s still a very busy service, we haven’t seen any fall off. We are getting new customers coming to us every week.
“When the Covid-19 pandemic kicked off two years ago, we had a huge surge in demand and that has not gone down. Demand has stayed at that level.”
Mr McGrath said the cost of living difficulties being experienced by many is resulting in a drop in donations from the public and a rise in food delivery requests.
“Demand is very busy. On our books we are supporting between 540 and 580 households in the region. One thing we have seen is an increase in people asking us to deliver to them because they can’t make it into the foodbank on Tuesday and Fridays when we are open. We don’t ask them the reasons why, but certainly fuel may be a factor. Fuel prices are affecting us massively. We have one very old van and keeping that on the road with fuel, tax and insurance is our biggest expense. Tomorrow I have a three-hour round trip to make to deliver food and that will be very costly.”
Mr McGrath said the age demographic of those seeking food range from young people, to those who are middle aged and over.
“It really is across the board, there isn’t one age group not affected.”
The charitable organisation receives much support from many local organisations. It will also hold a significant fundraiser in the next month or two to raise vital funds and food donations.
“Food donations have eased up and that is probably a reflection of the current situation with the rise in the cost of living. We don’t have the details of the fundraiser ironed out yet but it will be significant,” said Mr McGrath.
“We receive excellent support locally from many organisations. We took in a very good donation from Relay for Life of 3,200 tins of baked beans, which is a great help.”
Mr McGrath said the food bank is getting by on the donations it has at the minute, but there has been a drop.
“We are always grateful for such basics as tea, coffee and pasta. These are essentials.”
We Care Food Bank is located in Market Square, Letterkenny. It is open every Tuesday and Friday from noon until 2pm.