Food bank figures a damning indictment

Gemma McKenna
Gemma McKenna

Craigavon Food Bank has been used more than 6,000 times during the past two years, according to figures from Sinn Fein.

The figures have been described as a damning indication of the failure of the British Tory Government’s Austerity agenda by Sinn Fein Councillor Gemma McKenna.

She was speaking after a party delegation met with the chairperson of the local Craigavon Food Bank, which has distributions centres in Portadown, Central Craigavon and Lurgan.

Cllr Mc Kenna said, “Walking into the warehouse... hit home for us the stark reality, that many in our borough cannot afford to feed themselves or their families.

“Those who are doing this work at Craigavon Food Bank should be praised enormously for their efforts, but it cannot be ignored that the austerity policies of the Tory Government will continue to lead people in to poverty.”

Ms McKenna continued, “The statistics highlight the problem within the borough is growing; in the year April 2013 to March 2014, the food bank was used 2,432 times and for the same period this year it was used 3,682 times.

“That means Craigavon Food Bank has been used 6,114 times in just two 
years.”

Cllr Mc Kenna concluded, “We must praise the volunteers who operate the food bank and those who donate food on a regular basis.”

Calling for all parties to oppose welfare cuts she said: “This is a growing problem that the Tory government continues to ignore.”