Storehouse was launched by Belfast City Vineyard Church in 2008 to provide food parcels to those in need so that no one in the Greater Belfast area should have to go hungry. Initially partnering with one local charity, at this time Storehouse provided weekly food parcels to 10 families.
By 2010 Storehouse had grown and was providing for approximately 40 families each week and was establishing partnerships with close to 30 charities across the city. As demand increased several other churches from various denominations caught Storehouse’s vision and joined in with the food collections. As a result, Storehouse (NI) was established as a stand-alone charity.
In 2011 Storehouse recognised a need to provide more than food and therefore took the decision to provide clothes, furniture and household goods alongside its food parcels. The Storehouse Centre opened in Belfast in June 2012 and is open three days a week. The Centre offers a dedicated space where food, clothing, furniture and basic household goods are provided completely free of charge to families or individuals that have been referred to the service.
This week I had the opportunity to meet the Storehouse team and see their work first-hand during a visit to the Centre. What struck me was how busy the Centre was and the reality that there is a significant number of individuals and families in Belfast who rely on such services to meet their basic needs.
Currently every week Storehouse is providing over 120 food parcels, seeing 80 referred individuals or families in the Centre and making around 10 furniture deliveries. Storehouse now partners with over 130 charities and agencies across Belfast and works alongside more than 50 churches, schools and businesses.
Storehouse is keen to work alongside housing associations and a number of opportunities currently exist. These include providing donations of food and clothes or donating furniture left over in vacant properties. Opportunities also exist for housing associations to become partner agencies who can refer tenants in need of assistance to the Storehouse Centre.
Storehouse wants to develop its services to provide more than short-term aid and wishes to provide opportunities and strategies for long-term solutions. This will help people move away from the need for support, to prevent dependency and to encourage healthy lifestyles.
For more information visit www.storehousebelfast.com
To discuss partnership opportunities contact Storehouse on 028 9023 6333 or email email@example.com