Luton Irish Forum calls for Christmas food donations
Luton Irish Forum (LIF) is looking to spread some Christmas cheer by teaming up with a local foodbank to help those less fortunate. With the town suffering from growing poverty rates, the Forum believes Christmas is an ideal time to raise awareness of the situation. Having collected £350 worth of food donations last year, the group, in cooperation with the Luton Foodbank, wants to raise an extra £150 this time round.
“The rate of poverty in Luton is rising rapidly, and with the launch of the Welfare Reform in 2012, thousands of families and workers are left living on the breadline,” said LIF Chief Officer Noelette Hanley. Brogan Lewis explained how they have tried to promote the cause and highlight how difficult it can be for many families over the festive period.
“We spoke with the groups about donating an item of food and we held a raffle with the Tuesday and Wednesday club to raise money for the cause,” she said. “We also created posters and leaflets and spoke to all the groups about what we were trying to do, which inspired generous donations from clients, staff and the public, both food and money.”
Luton Foodbank has seen a 46% increase in the usage of their service within the last year, with nearly 800 people receiving food parcels in September 2016 alone. Its Project Coordinator, Salma Khan, said that they had been sending out roughly 140 parcels each week over the past few months and urged people to continue to donate.
“For many of the people we help, Christmas is one of the hardest times of the year. Christmas is about giving, not receiving, so we asked people in Luton to donate food for those in need,” she said. Her words were echoed by LIF Welfare Officer, Mary Fitzmaurice, who emphasised the importance of spreading goodwill this December.
“No one should be hungry at Christmas. Oftentimes when December comes around, people get caught up in planning the dinner and doing the present shopping, and forget what really matters – each other,” she said.
Collections for Luton Foodbank finish at Luton Irish Forum on 22 December at 3pm. For more information about what products are appropriate to donate, please visit the Luton Foodbank website at www.lutonfoodbank.org.uk/give-food-list
• The LIF can also be contacted for further information on 01582 720447 or at firstname.lastname@example.org