Christmas is a season of joy and excitement for most but for many it can be a time of worry and hardship, when families struggle to cope with the cost of living and are forced to seek help from local charities in order to get by.

According to the Trussell Trust charity, a staggering 17,571 three-day emergency food supplies were given out to people in Northern Ireland by its food banks from April to September this year.

And every year, over 1,400 people are provided with a range of potentially lifesaving services by homeless charity the Welcome Organisation in Greater Belfast.

To recognise this problem and support these local charities and the community, leading drinks company Boost supplied the Trussell Trust and Welcome Organisation with some much-needed food, drinks and toiletries to help them over the Christmas season.

Boost stopped by Trussell Trust’s Dundonald Food Bank and North Belfast Food Bank as well as the Welcome Organisation to deliver tins of food, long life milk, dried foods and cereals and Boost energy drinks as a contribution towards the demand for food and drinks over the Christmas fortnight.

Boost Drinks Brand Manager Kim Jacks said: “Boost believes in supporting the local community and recognises the hard work and dedication of the province’s food bank charities who are working tirelessly to help people throughout NI.

“We are passionate about giving back to the community and do this through different initiatives throughout the year, but we know Christmas can be a particularly hard time for people who cannot afford essential items. So, we wanted to get involved and help in some way and believe these supplies will make a difference to people in need,” added Kim.

Trussell Trust is a nationwide network of food banks that provides emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaigns for change to end the need for food banks in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK.

The Welcome Organisation provides a range of potentially life-saving services to around 1,400 people affected by homelessness across Greater Belfast every year.  Its services include a Drop-in Centre, Street Outreach service, Crisis Accommodation for Women, Floating Support service and a Welcome Home project.

To find out more about Trussell Trust and the Welcome Organisation and how you can help, visit  https://www.trusselltrust.org/ and www.homelessbelfast.org.

Boost Drinks was established in 2001, launching in Northern Ireland in 2003 and now owns the province’s top selling soft drink* within the local independent convenience channel.  In 2019 Boost raised over £25,000 for life-saving local charity Air Ambulance NI from a variety of fundraising events and initiatives throughout the year.

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