Enniskillen Foodbank launches new initiative

THE ENNISKILLEN Foodbank has launched a new initiative to help young families who may need a little help.
‘Grow Baby’, which is launching this month, is aimed at parents of babies and young children who are struggling. It will run alongside the Foodbank’s other support services, which include ‘pop up’ foodbanks in Newtownbutler and Irvinestown.
The service operates on the same principle as the main Foodbank, with people making donations which are then passed on to those most in need. Instead of food, however, the ‘Grow Baby’ service will provide pre-loved baby and children’s items to those who need them.
“What Grow Baby is, any product relevant to a child from zero to five. Everything from wet wipes to buggies and prams, changing systems, high chairs,” said Foodbank manager John Shades, who added the items were in pre-loved but in good condition.
“If somebody has just had a baby and they don’t have something, and they’re going to ask us for something, we want it to be nice,” he added.
The Grow Baby service is due to launch fully in the coming weeks, and will operate the same opening times as the Foodbank. However anyone who is need of baby and toddler items even before its official can contact the Foodbank in the meantime.
While demand for the Foodbank, which had surged during the height of the pandemic, has begun ease somewhat and return to pre-Covid levels, that level of demand was still relatively high. As the winter approaches, demand is expected to rise again as many make the tough decision to ‘heat or eat’.
Mr Shades said the Fermanagh community was always very generous and supportive, and while donations are healthy, there are always some items in demand. These include small jars of coffee, tinned fruit and vegetables, and long-life milk.
The Enniskillen Foodbank is opened in Enniskillen on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-12. It also operates a service in Newtownbutler on a Tuesday, from 10.30-12, and in Irvinestown on a Friday from 1-2pm. While the Foodbank operates a referral system, anyone in need can also walk in and ask for help.
Donations can be made at points in local supermarkets, or directly to the Foodbank itself.

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