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Lord Mayor welcomes Minister’s announcement on food parcels

6 Apr 2020
Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Daniel Baker has welcomed news that a weekly delivery of food parcels for vulnerable people is to be introduced.

Welcoming the announcement of the Communities Minister that 10,000 food parcels are to be delivered to vulnerable people, Lord Mayor Councillor Daniel Baker said: “It’s so important that we do everything we can to work together to protect those in our society who are most vulnerable and need our help.

“Council will be working closely with the Department to help distribute some of these parcels in the Belfast area, and I’m delighted that we can play a part in helping the relief effort and supporting our citizens in this way. Collaborative working is so important at this time and we’ll be announcing more details for Belfast residents in the coming days.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to all the people from the community and voluntary sectors who are helping to support vulnerable individuals within our communities.

"I have been really encouraged by the goodwill of people right across the city, and how this crisis is bringing communities together moreso than ever. Please continue to look out for each other, especially those neighbours who are older or more vulnerable.”

Communites Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA has announced that in the coming days a new weekly service commence which will see 10,000 food boxes being delivered to the most vulnerable in society during the COVID-19 lockdown.

This support by the Department for Communities will allow a weekly box of mainly non-perishable goods to be delivered directly to the door of vulnerable people who have been notified to shield by their GPs and who cannot afford food and do not have access to local support networks. These boxes will also be available to those who are not shielding, but are in critical need of food.

The Department is leading the initiative that has been made possible through collaborative working with Health Trusts, local councils, the Voluntary and Community sector and the private sector.

Minister Hargey said: “This vital service will ensure that those most in need in our society who do not have a support network of family and friends to help them through this emergency will have access to basic food supplies.

“Not only will it ensure that the most vulnerable do not go without but it will allow those at risk of social isolation to see a friendly face and know that we as a society have not forgotten about them.

“There’s a tremendous amount of goodwill and generosity in action across our society, which is very welcome at this challenging time.”

Paying tribute to all the partners involved in getting the service up and running, the Minister added: “This is an example of genuine collaboration across the public, private and community sectors. My officials are working with local food suppliers, local councils and the community and voluntary sector to get this vital service in place.

“With social distancing and shielding measures in place for the foreseeable future to protect health, this service will be a crucial lifeline for many.”

For more info, visit www.communities-ni.gov.uk/news/hargey-announces-thousands-benefit-food-parcels-service
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