| 8.1°C Belfast

Coronavirus: Council staff prepare 10,000 food deliveries

Close

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council workers prepare and deliver some of the 10,000 food boxes being delivered to the most vulnerable in society throughout Northern Ireland

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council workers prepare and deliver some of the 10,000 food boxes being delivered to the most vulnerable in society throughout Northern Ireland

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council workers prepare and deliver some of the 10,000 food boxes being delivered to the most vulnerable in society throughout Northern Ireland

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council workers prepare and deliver some of the 10,000 food boxes being delivered to the most vulnerable in society throughout Northern Ireland

Antrim resident Carl McIlmoyle receives his box

Antrim resident Carl McIlmoyle receives his box

Colum McLornan with chef Kevin Coey

Colum McLornan with chef Kevin Coey

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council workers prepare and deliver some of the 10,000 food boxes being delivered to the most vulnerable in society throughout Northern Ireland

Council workers are preparing 10,000 food boxes to be delivered to the most vulnerable in society throughout Northern Ireland during the coronavirus pandemic.

A weekly box of mainly non-perishable goods will be delivered directly to the door of vulnerable people who have been told to shield by their GPs, and who cannot afford food and do not have access to local support networks.

These boxes will also be available to those who are not shielding, but are in critical need of food.

The Department for Communities is leading the initiative.

Meanwhile, a food business on the north coast is delivering free Easter meals to NHS staff and their families on Sunday.

Colum McLornan, owner of gluten-free food specialist Rule of Crumb, said he wanted to help the NHS in the fight against coronavirus in any way he can.

So he came up with the idea of free Easter dinners for workers, though he stressed he is departing from the company's usual gluten-free formula.

"After working a 14-16 hour shift trying to save lives from Covid-19 over Easter, some NHS staff are faced with canteens closed or long queues at supermarkets," he said.

Mr McLornan has been running an appeal on website GoFundMe - and yesterday pulled in a £1,000 donation from bank AIB (NI), helping it hit its target.

However, the appeal will remain open to increase the numbers of NHS staff who can benefit.

Already, he has raised enough to feed 500 NHS staff and their families. He said he was grateful to everyone who'd made donations, big and small. "The generosity of the Northern Ireland public and some of our business partners has been amazing," he said.

All donations go towards getting meals to hospital workers, including food, delivery cost and payment processing fees.

The meals can be delivered to the greater Belfast area: BT1-BT17 in Belfast, BT18- BT21 Holywood, Bangor, BT23 Newtownards, BT27, 28 Lisburn, BT36, 37, 39 Newtownabbey, BT41 Antrim and BT64, 65 Portadown, Craigavon.

The delivery box includes either four portions of turkey or beef with seasonal vegetables and creamy mash potatoes plus dessert.

However, the delivery box cannot be adjusted but will provide food for two days to households of two people.

Elsewhere, Belfast Lord Mayor Daniel Baker is to donate the remainder of his mayoral budget to food banks across the city that are under increased pressure.

"The donation from my budget will be around £52,000 with the council also agreeing to put an additional £50,000 forward to assist foodbanks across the city," he said.

"As Mayor of Belfast, my priority is the health and well-being of the citizens of this great city.

"I hope that this initiative will help to assist citizens from the Colin to Newtownards Road, from the Falls to the Shankill."

NHS staff who wish to avail of Rule of Crumb's free Easter Sunday meals, should email nhs@ruleofcrumb.com

Belfast Telegraph