Christmas hampers for thirty families

Jackie Wright (left) and Noel McKee seek donations for the Whitehead  Christmas hamper appeal. INCT 50-657-CON
Jackie Wright (left) and Noel McKee seek donations for the Whitehead Christmas hamper appeal. INCT 50-657-CON

Thirty Christmas hampers are due to be distributed by Whitehead Storehouse in response to need in the community.

Volunteer Noel McKee said that the group is still taking requests for the service.

“If anyone just needs food but not necessarily a hamper, also let us know,” he added.

“January is a tight time for a lot of people. It is important that we have food to meet this need, so we would like donations of non-perishables.”

As a result, so-called “grub-tubs” have been placed at numerous locations for donations around the seaside town including the Spar at Edward Road.

“Jackie has put a tub in his store for customers to make donations, and this year, he is donating quite a bit of fresh produce.”

Noel went on to say that the Storehouse, based at Whitehead Presbyterian Church has been able to help over 50 callers to the food bank this year.

“We are quite proud of the fact that everyone in the town tends to look after each other,” he added.

Noel indicated that demand for a Christmas food hamper has increased from 22 requests last year.

Hampers are filled with a chicken, fresh veg and a box of chocolates as well as some other goodies.

Noel explained that Whitehead Storehouse was set up as a foodbank “when the recession was hitting quite badly”, five or six years ago.

Referrals come from agencies including Social Services, St Vincent de Paul and the PSNI.

Meanwhile, East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson has praised Jordan Victory Church and the foodbank which is operates in the Carrick area.

He said: “I would encourage the public to make whatever donations of food they can to the foodbank and I know that all donations will be greatly received in the run up to Christmas.”