SDLP Social Development spokesperson Mark H Durkan has praised the outstanding contribution of food bank providers. Speaking ahead of an Assembly debate on this issue Mr. Durkan also highlighted the implications of the Welfare Reform Bill on many struggling families:
The need for food banks is greater than ever with more and more people suffering severe poverty while demand for this kind of help is growing. Without the charities, community and church organisations it would simply not be possible for many families to survive.
Food bank providers are struggling to collect adequate donations due to the dire economic situation. Despite these challenges the people involved work tirelessly and their efforts though often unheralded are invaluable.
The government should support them in any way possible? However it is fair to say that the government must take some responsibility for the difficult circumstances people find themselves in.
As well as increasing assistance for food bank providers, there must be concerted and consistent effort to reduce the need for them. This should manifest itself in opposition to the most severe welfare cuts contained in the Welfare Reform Bill and also viable job creation strategy which will help lift many out of poverty and improve the economy.
Further information: Mark H Durkan 07973363702
SDLP Press Office 028 9052 1364
Bi linn ar leas na hEireann – www.sdlp.ie