Bandon Foodbank opened its doors at 4 St. Finbarr’s Place for the first time on March 4, 2022. Locals will know the premises as the Alan Coleman shop, beside Cracked Café. The Foodbank provides a small food hamper, worth approximately €50, free to anyone who needs a little help with their weekly shopping as our cost of living soars. Carol Maguire, one of the founders, explains how the Foodbank works and how to access the service.
Since opening, Bandon Foodbank has been helping 20 to 25 people or families each week. Most of the food is provided to us by the Little Island-based organisation ‘FoodCloud’, which receives food products from the major supermarkets and redistributes it to reduce food waste. So we are providing for anyone in need as well as helping the environment. We pay a small monthly donation to FoodCloud for our weekly allocation of food.
We are very thankful to so many companies that support us: Glenilen Farm in Drimoleague collects the food and delivers it to us every week, free of charge; Feed Cork, Aldi, Lidl, Dealz and Jakes Café provide additional food to supplement our food crates; the Methodist church gives us the use of their building as well as a monthly donation to FoodCloud.
Bandon Foodbank has a small committee that is made up of members from all the town’s churches but it could not function without the many volunteers who have completed the required training and now take turns serving in the shop or preparing the food crates.
The idea for the Foodbank actually came prior to the pandemic in 2020; from conversations between myself, my husband Denis, and Matt and Adele Corke. Matt got in contact with Feed Cork and they committed to helping us get started in Bandon.
Despite our best efforts we were unable to locate a suitable premises at the time so in November 2020 we began distributing hampers from the Town Hall in Bandon, with the direct support of Feed Cork. This continued throughout the pandemic and provided much needed help to people across West Cork.
Our search for our own home continued until we found our current premises on St Finbarr’s Place. We give our sincere thanks to the patrons of the Town Hall who were very helpful during our time there and could not have been better hosts.
Bandon Foodbank is open every Friday from 10 – 12 am. Food is available for any family or individual who needs a little bit of help to subsidise their grocery shopping. There are no conditions or proofs required, we simply ask you to make an appointment by calling 089 2642278 so we can avoid a queue developing and ensure we have enough food in stock. Confidentiality is assured.
We are very grateful to all those who have donated food or money to support this work. If you would like to donate or volunteer, please leave a message for us at 089 264 2278 or drop into the shop any Friday morning and speak to Carol or Matt.
Bandon Foodbank aims to be there for anyone who needs help to provide food for themselves or their families during these uncertain times. We hope and pray that we will be of help to those who need it and that there will soon come a time when a service like ours is no longer required.