Lottery funding ‘vital’ for Mid-West Simon food bank

John Keogh

Reporter:

John Keogh

Geraldine Clancy, fundraiser, Mary O'Reilly Glynn, housing support, Joe Ryan, volunteer, Jackie Bonfield, general manager and Ian Culhane, administrator. Picture: Don Moloney/Press 22
NATIONAL Lottery funding of €15,000 has proved invaluable in the establishment of a food bank by the Mid-West Simon Community in Limerick.

NATIONAL Lottery funding of €15,000 has proved invaluable in the establishment of a food bank by the Mid-West Simon Community in Limerick.

Funds from the sale of National Lottery games enable good causes throughout Ireland to receive funding and continue their work.

Mid-West Simon has used the funding to help established a food bank which services those in food poverty or at risk of food poverty, which is the inability to afford or have reasonable access to food which provides a healthy diet.

General manager of the Mid West Simon Community Jackie Bonfield said that the National Lottery funding was vital for their initiative.

“Without the lottery funding we wouldn’t have been able to get up and running because it allowed us to purchase the fridges and the dry food storage areas for the three sectors that we operate the food bank from,” she explained.

“At this moment in time we don’t receive any government funding for any services we provide. All the administration costs are covered from our property’s rental income. The services are provided through the charitable donations we receive from individuals and companies.

Because the demand on our services have increased, we are constantly looking for support from the government. Any other agency in the Mid-West who provides the services we are is receiving statutory funding so at this stage we should be invited to come around the table.”

Unlike food distribution warehouses which give food to organisations or agencies on a wide scale, Mid-West Simon’s Food Banks operate on the frontline, giving food directly to individuals and families who are most in need.

The Mid-West Simon Community appeared on TV3’s morning show Ireland AM this Tuesday to promote the service.

“We were delighted to get the opportunity to promote the need for support that services like the Simon Community, both in the Mid West and nationally. It does allow us the opportunity to highlight that there is poverty in this country. It is not something that is discussed a lot,” Ms Bonfield said.