Donna's Story

Coming to the foodbank was just a great relief and nobody judges anybody.”

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Care support worker, Donna, saw her life turned upside down when she was hospitalised after suffering from two mini-strokes. Forced to stop working and not being eligible for sick pay, the 44-year-old, mother-of-three from Northern Ireland soon began to struggle.

“I was always pretty good on managing and saving. But from not working, the savings were getting very low,” she admits. “Things had to be paid for and I didn’t want the kids to suffer. We had some food in the cupboard and freezer but I knew it was starting to lower and lower. I wasn’t doing what I should have been doing as a mother.”

Donna knew she had to ask for help. “It was either asking somebody for a lend with money and having that debt and struggle, or going to the foodbank. So, I decided I would opt for the foodbank.”

“I sat in the car park for about 10 minutes getting the courage to go in, but the welcome that I got through the doors was just phenomenal, I felt so at ease. They listened and offered me tea. It was so nice and family based.”

Although Donna was nervous about going to the foodbank, she is thankful they were able to support her through this difficult time. “I sat in the car park for about 10 minutes getting the courage to go in, but the welcome that I got through the doors was just phenomenal,” she admits. “I felt so at ease. They listened and offered me tea. It was so nice and family based.”

As well as providing Donna with food for herself and her children, the foodbank was also able to give her information on benefit support she was entitled to claiming, in order to get further help. Donna told us: “I left the foodbank with my bags of food and felt very overwhelmed. I was so glad I had come here.”

As soon as Donna’s circumstances had improved she signed up to volunteer at the foodbank, explaining: “I wanted to give back as they have brought me out of the biggest situation that I did not think I would get myself into.”

Donna is glad that things are much more balanced now. She enjoys volunteering twice a week and remains grateful for the support she received: “I’m not needing the foodbank anymore but I’m glad it was there when I needed the help.”

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