Dramatic increase in foodbank demand in North Belfast shocking and upsetting, says Nelson

Alliance Castle Councillor Sam Nelson has said he is shocked and saddened by the sharp increase in the number of people using the Trussell Trust’s North Belfast Foodbank, with an 80% increase reported in the last twelve months.

North Belfast Sam Nelson

The North Belfast Foodbank was established ten years ago to fill the gap being created by regressive social security reforms, but demand has since increased and now considerably outweighs donations.


“When volunteers started the North Belfast Foodbank ten years ago, they never would have imagined the level of need increasing to what it is today,” said Cllr Nelson after last night (4 September)'s Belfast City Council meeting.


“In the last twelve months alone, the North Belfast Foodbank has fed around 3,000 people, a worrying 80% increase on the previous year. The number of children relying on the foodbank has also doubled, with more families, including working families, relying on support just to get by. It’s devastating.


“Demand for food and supplies now considerably outweighs donations, and the North Belfast Foodbank is in desperate need of donations to keep up with such demand. In the last 12 months alone the foodbank has had to purchase an additional 5000kg of food. If anyone is able to donate, either items or money, I would urge them to please do what they can.


“Most importantly however, we need to tackle the root causes of poverty. We need an Executive back, making decisions that protect the most disadvantaged from poverty. We need to address the failures in the social security system and start providing people with enough to prevent them falling into these kinds of dire straits. Rather than cutting support to children and young people, we need to find ways to boost it and target it appropriately.


“We live in a developed part of the world in 2023. Not a single person should be living in hunger.”