School holidays are a difficult time of year for many local families as they struggle to cover the cost of childcare, summer activities and additional food but Apex Housing Association is working to ensure its tenants and others are aware that help is available locally.
Sheena McCallion, Chief Executive of Apex Housing Association, explained:
“For families with school age children, the summer is always a demanding time. Increased childcare and food costs mean funds are stretched that bit further and it can be a very worrying period. For those on low incomes, especially those who depend on free school meals* during term-time, the summer can mean children or parents going without meals in order to get by. This is not a choice we want anyone to make, and so we are encouraging our tenants and other local families facing these difficulties to avail of the help being provided by Foyle Foodbank.”
Apex Housing Association supports Foyle Foodbank by providing premises and other support services to the charity at its Living Centre in Springtown Industrial Estate. Foyle Foodbank, which is part of the Trussell Trust network of foodbanks, has provided 526 families with emergency food parcels since the beginning of this year.
James McMenamin, Manager of Foyle Foodbank, commented:
“The summer months are always busy for us, as many families find it difficult to make ends meet.
“There is a misconception that Foodbanks are only used by people who are out of work, but I can tell you that’s not the case. Many parents have to reduce their hours during the summer to look after their children and that has an impact on their income and their ability to pay bills, not to mention summer activities or extra food needed during the summer. Then there are those who work zero-hour contracts and struggle to get by at the best of times.
“The summer can be a massive hurdle that they need help getting over.”
“Foyle Foodbank offers emergency food parcels for those who need a bit of extra help. Our service is totally confidential and our clients are treated with the utmost respect and dignity.”
If you and your family are in difficulties and need some emergency food parcels over the summer months, you should contact your Apex Housing Officer on 028 71304 800 or phone Foyle Foodbank on 028 7126 3699 for a list of local referral agencies.