DONEGAL Food Response Network will host its countywide Christmas Appeal for 2022 on Friday November 18.
Building on the success of last year, the appeal will take place in locations all over the county.
On the day, community and voluntary organisations throughout Donegal will open their doors to welcome donations of food, vouchers, cash, or gifts which will be distributed to those in need in their local community this Christmas.
Discussing the appeal, Donegal Local Development CLG Manager Margaret Larkin said, “Donegal Local Development CLG is delighted to be once again partnering with community and voluntary organisations throughout the county, working together to ensure no one in Donegal goes hungry this Christmas. Food poverty is an ever-growing problem in our society and there has been a significant increase in the number of families and individuals around the county who are affected and availing of support from the Donegal Food Response Network members. Christmas is an expensive time of year and with the cost-of-living crisis, people are having to choose between essential basic needs, which is why this year’s appeal is more important than ever.
“Last year the Christmas Appeal was a huge success. We were overwhelmed with the generosity, goodwill and charitable spirit shown by communities all over the county. We understand that this year is especially tough on everyone, but we urge those who are in a position to help others to head to your nearest donation point on November 18 and give whatever you can to support those in need and to help us ensure that no one in your community goes hungry this Christmas.”
At the start of the pandemic the Donegal Food Response Network formed organically as community and voluntary organisations mobilised to support the more vulnerable members of the community. Now, the network is made up of 17 local community and voluntary organisations in all corners of the county from Carndonagh to Donegal Town and Arranmore to the Finn Valley. The network is built on the ethos that no one should ever go hungry and the DLDC is on a mission to become a sustainable, effective network of community and voluntary organisations whose shared objective is to address food poverty in Donegal.
The Donegal Food Response Network is specifically looking for non-perishable, dry foods such as tinned foods, rice, pasta, and cereals. Treats will also be very welcome too as part of the Christmas fundraiser.
Commenting on the importance of the various food banks around the county, Moira Sweeney, a volunteer and secretary of We Care Food Bank Letterkenny, added, “We were extremely grateful for all the donations we received during our Christmas Appeal last year. All donations, no matter how big or small, make a huge difference and have such a positive impact on the service and number of families and people we are able to help. We have noticed a significant increase in the number of people who are coming to us to avail of the service and some days we have queues going out the door.
“We want people to know we are here for them and that we can help them with accessing food. The Donegal Food Response Network members are based in rural locations throughout Donegal, which means more people can access food in their own area discretely and confidentially.”
The following venues will be open on November 18 and will gratefully be accepting donations: CDP Na Rosann Dungloe: Open for donations from 10am – 1pm Monday – Friday throughout November and December. Cloughaneely Food Bank: Accepting donations Friday 10am – 12.30pm, Saturday 10am – 2.30pm, Sunday after mass. Comharchumann Forbartha and Fostaíochta Árainn Mhóir: Accepting donations 10am – 3pm. Donegal Family Resource Centre: Accepting donations Mon to Thurs 9am – 5pm and Fri 10am – 2pm. Ionad an Mhachaire: Accepting donations from 12.30pm – 2.30pm. Ionad Naomh Pádraig, Gaoth Dobhair: Coffee morning from 12pm – 2pm. Mustard Seed Donegal Town: Accepting donations Wednesday – Friday from 10am – 2pm. We Care Food Bank Letterkenny: Accepting donations Tuesdays and Fridays from 12pm – 2pm
Donations received in each area will be distributed to those in need in that specific community.