Enniskillen Food Bank witnesses true Christmas spirit

DESPITE rising costs for food and energy Fermanagh people are giving to the poor and needy more than ever before.
Enniskillen Food Bank has been inundated with supplies in recent weeks, and its manager John Shades says it has been ‘an honour and privilege’ to witness such generosity.
“During Covid, I thought there was no way the community could cope if it got worse than this, but how wrong I was. The Fermanagh people have stepped up more than I could have ever imagined,” Mr Shades said.
“It’s been incredible. The whole community of Fermanagh has given above and beyond what I would ever have expected. Individuals have given more and gone the extra mile despite their own hardships.
“And it has happened across the board; companies, supermarket chains, schools, colleges, different departments in the hospital – they have all gone above and beyond to help out the poor and needy.
“It highlights how generous and compassionate the people in this county are. People here have realised that others are in need and they have made an extra effort to help.”
It’s not all been plain sailing though. The number of food parcels distributed in Fermanagh last month surged by 77 per cent leaving the Enniskillen Food Bank overwhelmed by the demand and pensioners being hit the hardest.
Compared to the same period in 2021, it was an enormous rise, and one they could never have predicted.
“As soon as we got stuff coming through the door it was going out immediately to those who needed it, but people just kept on giving more and more,” Mr Shades said.
“Just before the festive period our foodbank trolleys at Asda, Tesco and Dunnes would take a wee while to fill, but we are now emptying them every other day. Some days there were as many as three full shopping trolleys of food, which was never the case before.
“It shows that everyone doing their shopping is giving more, not less. We can say that we have a community that is compassionate and gives. That is something that we all should be very proud of.
“It’s an honour and privilege to be involved in redistributing what the community gives.”
You can donate by dropping off food at Enniskillen Food Bank, the Lakes Vineyard Church, 6-8 Cross Street, Enniskillen, or email: for more details.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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