Dundonald Foodbank

Following on from my Thought for the Day yesterday, here is an update on how things are progressing (in my absence) as far as our local Dundonald Foodbank is going. It is largely adapted from a newsletter for supporters prepared by John Lowry, a member of the steering committee who is now effectively the project coordinator.
For several months a group of local churches together with Tullycarnet Community Support Services have been in discussions regarding the need to help our some families in our community who are experiencing food poverty. The outcome of the meetings has been the establishment of Dundonald Foodbank, which will operate under the aims of Trussell Trust, a Christian based organisation that seeks to address the need to feed struggling families.

I would like firstly to thank all the individuals and the members of the committee that have and are steering this enterprise, stepping out in faith and seeking to glorify the Lord in this enterprise.

The most dramatic recent development is that we have been blessed with fantastic premises that meet our requirements at:
Castlereagh Enterprises Ltd,
Dundonald Enterprise Park,
Carrowreagh Road

Thanks go to the chief executive of the development, Mr Jack McComiskey, and his board of directors who have surpassed our dreams with the provision of the unit. A call went out to our churches for help to clear the unit and get it ready for planning etc. Last Tuesday we had a fantastic response and approx 20 willing volunteers arrived at 10am, and within about an hour and a half the place was cleared and was being cleaned up. A truly remarkable response that has shown a small portion of the energy and enthusiasm that is there to support this project. Thank you to all who helped.

Next step is that we have contacted and are meeting with statutory agencies regarding Health and Safety, Environmental Health, etc. to ensure we are proceeding in the correct direction. We have made contact with the electricity companies to enquire about tariffs and fire safety companies regarding the provision of extinguishers and suitable service contracts.
A list of required equipment includes: 
For the reception area: Comfortable seating, with an occasional table and suitable lighting; tea/coffee making equipment; a table for the completion of any documentation are needed.
For the storage area: Approx. 20m dexion-style shelving (5 or 6 tiers with a min load capacity of 500Kg per tier); 2 sturdy tables or benches, for organising and preparing food bags; 2 4 wheel trolleys for moving heavy boxed foods; 1 sack trolley; Commercial sized weighing scales (platform-style); a calculator; sturdy step ladder; trays capable of holding 10 to 20 kg of tins; fire extinguishers (water, powder and foam types); health and safety signage; First Aid kit; disposable gloves and heavy gauge gauntlets; Health and safety accident book and registers.
For the office area: Desk; office seats; office space dividers; computer and printer; stationary, Paper, inks etc.; lockable storage in desk or cabinet; organiser trays.

As well as equipment we need volunteers. There are a wide variety of different jobs that will need to be done, and training will be provided.

We also need collection centres: churches, community centres, businesses where donated food could be deposited and picked up from. And we need donors who are willing to include an extra tin or packet of imperishable food in their weekly shop and drop it off in one of those collection centres.

We will need partner organisations: again, churches community organisations, statutory bodies, who will refer families to us for help. And again training will be provided so that you know what we can and cannot help with.

But finally, and most importantly we need prayer.

If you want more information or are interested in helping in any of the ways above, please contact John Lowry on 07593986079 or Ann Martin at Tullycarnet Community Support Services on 02890501133.



Lils said…
Excited to hear you are going ahead with opening Dundonald Foodbank.

Lillian Parkinson
BangorNI Foodbank

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