A Derry councillor has called on the Department for Communities to ensure that everyone in need receives emergency food parcels at this time.
People Before Profit Cllr Shaun Harkin: "In response to the Covid-19 crisis the Department for Communities has committed £10 million to fund weekly food box deliveries to people who are 'shielding' and anyone in financial hardship for the next 15 weeks.
"We encourage people to immediately contact 0808 802 0020 or firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a food box delivery. No individual or family should be forced to go without food. Funding should be increased to whatever level is necessary in line with need. We know that even before this crisis many people were in need of this kind of assistance.
"Communities across the North have been ravaged by the implementation of Tory welfare reform. Many in our communities were pushed into deeper poverty and increasing numbers of people were reliant on food banks as a direct result of these policies.
"The Covid-19 crisis has created hardship for many more people who have lost their jobs and are facing greater isolation. The repercussions of ripping apart our social safety net are now clear. It's very clear why Universal Credit should never have been implemented and needs to be replaced with a humane system that's fit for purpose.
"The Stormont Executive's response to this emergency has most often been a shambolic mess. They have acted too slowly to put measures in place to help people and much of the help has been inadequate. This is why we are calling on the Department for Communities to make sure no one is turned away from accessing food help. The Department must guarantee every effort is made to make sure those who need help actually receive it."
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