SDLP representatives will be collecting for local foodbanks in the run up to the Christmas period.
Research from the Trussell Trust shows that foodbank use in Northern Ireland has increased by 8% and by 30% in communities in Britain experiencing the rollout of Universal Credit.
SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly said: “The impact of the British Government’s austerity agenda on Northern Ireland, aided and abetted by the political brinkmanship at Stormont, is devastating communities and families.
“The research published by the Trussell Trust paints a bleak picture of the experiences of hard working families across the North. And it’s an experience that my constituency office is familiar with. We have more and more people approaching us for help with benefit appeals or access to foodbanks.
“We should never become numb to poverty, homelessness and need. The SDLP will be doing all we can to support those most in need.
“In the run up to Christmas, families that are struggling will find it even more difficult to provide for their children.
“As the rollout of Universal Credit continues, pressure on those most in need will continue to increase.
“The Christmas, we will be assisting local foodbanks and doing all we can to help families under pressure. But this requires more from government and all parties should be focussed on the restoration of the institutions as soon as possible.”