THE Bandon Foodbank is now supporting over 20 families every week, as the cost of living continues to rise and more and more people are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
‘We opened the doors at 4 St Finbarr’s Place for the first time on Friday March 4th last,’ Carol Maguire told The Southern Star.
‘We provide a small food hamper worth about €50 free to anyone who needs a little help with their weekly shopping. All you have to do is ring 089 264 2278 for an appointment and to ensure we have enough food for all who need it.’
Most of the food is provided by the FoodCloud based in Little Island.
‘They receive food products from the major supermarkets, and they redistribute it to reduce food waste,’ Carol said.
‘So we are providing for anyone in need as well as helping the environment.
‘We pay a small monthly donation to the FoodCloud for our weekly allocation of food.’
She added: ‘We are very thankful to Glenilen Farm in Drimoleague who collect the food and deliver it to us every week free of charge, as well as Feed Cork, Aldi, Lidl, Dealz and Jakes café for their support in providing additional food to supplement our food crates.’
Since the doors opened in Bandon, about 20-25 people/families have been supported each week.
‘We are thankful to the Methodist church for the use of their building and the provision of the monthly donation to FoodCloud. We have a small committee made up of members from all the churches in the town. Thank you also to all our volunteers who take turns at serving in the shop, preparing the food crates, and completing the training required by our insurers,’ said Carol.
The idea for the foodbank began after conversations between Matt and Adele Corke with Denis and Carol Maguire prior to the pandemic in 2020. Matt was in contact with Feed Cork, and they committed to helping them get started in Bandon. However, despite their best efforts the team were unable to locate a suitable premises.
‘In November 2020 we began distributing food hampers from the Town Hall in Bandon with the direct support of Feed Cork,’ Carol said. ‘This continued throughout the pandemic and provided much needed help to people across West Cork. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances we were unable to continue to distribute from the Town Hall and so our search for our own premises continued. Our sincere thanks to the patrons of the Town Hall who were very helpful during our time there and could not have been better hosts,’ said Carol.
Bandon Foodbank is open every Friday from 10-12am. Food is available for any family or individual who needs help to subsidise their grocery shopping. There are no conditions or proofs required.
‘We simply ask you to make an appointment so we can avoid a queue developing and to ensure we have enough food in stock,’ Carol said, adding that confidentiality is assured.
‘We hope and pray that our service will be of help to those who need it and that there will soon come a time when a service like ours is no longer required.’
Their premises have been inspected and approved by the FoodCloud and HSE Environmental Health for the storage and distribution of foodstuffs,’ Carol said
‘Bandon Foodbank aims to be there for anyone who needs help to provide food for themselves or their families during these uncertain times,’ Carol pledged.
To donate or volunteer contact 089 264 2278 or drop in any Friday morning.