Why we exist
“We believe no child or adult should ever experience hunger”
This is when Reverend Kim Hurst knew she had to step in and help those in need. And so the Foodbank at St Andrews Scots Church was formed in the summer of 2015.
Every individual and family we help might have a different reason for needing our support. From illness and sudden bereavement, to redundancies and increasing rental costs – whatever the reason might be we stand by our motto – that regardless of religion, race or gender, we will make sure they have enough food to enable them to focus on improving their circumstances.
In 2018 we made things more official by re-branding to Foodbank Lifeline Foundation Malta and becoming a voluntary organisation. In 2019 we received confirmation of our foundation status. As the years go by we are facing a situation where more and more people need our help. This is where you come in. Without your support we would simply not exist.
When an individual, couple or family find themselves in a crisis, arising from situations like benefit delays, low income, homelessness, sickness or housing issues, it can take some time for Care Professionals in Malta to find a long-term solution to help them regain some control of their lives.
That is where we step in.
We believe no child or adult should ever experience hunger, so we do our uttermost to ensure that these people have enough food to cover them in the short-term, until a more long-term solution is found.
Our founder, Reverend Kim Hurst, was involved in running a foodbank in Cumbria, UK. Shortly after moving to Malta to take over as Minister of the Scots Church in Valletta, the church treasurer advised Kim she had just seen someone rummaging through bins looking for partially discarded take-aways to eat.
How we help
The majority of those seeking our support are Maltese families going through financial difficulties.
Sometimes we provide special food packs to individuals who perhaps might not have a fixed address. In these cases, we try to avoid food items that require access to kitchen equipment to cook but that can be prepared as easily as possible with hot water.
It takes a lot of organising and planning to collect food, sort into packs and distribute. Our volunteers work tirelessly to make our operation as smooth as possible.
We provide non-perishable emergency 7-day food packs, including canned food, cereals, pasta, sauces and rice, always as nutritionally balanced as possible - to individuals, couples or families who are struggling to find money for food.
Have a look at our Shopping List for ideas on food items to donate.
To make sure we help those who are really in desperate need, we can only offer support to people who have been referred to us by agencies such as Apogg, Child Protection, Mental Health and Oncology teams, Caritas, Sedqa and the Jesuit Refugee Service. You can see our full list below. We try to never turn anyone away. We are, however, not in a position to feed clients on a long term basis. We therefore collaborate closely with the Community Chest Fund and other charitable organisations to ensure we provide food to those who are genuinely in need.
The cost of providing food exceeds €20,000 a month together with all the other operating costs necessary to keep our Foodbank Lifeline open. Even with regular donations of food and money and the constant support of corporate sponsors, it is not easy to keep the Foodbank operating.
Just as we did last year, in November 2019 we are launching a "Reverse Advent Calendar" campaign. This is a request to the general public, schools, corporations and organization to undertake to place one non-perishable food item in a box every day from 1st to 24th December. In this way, everyone has the opportunity to prepare a food pack that will sustain a family in need for one week.
During 2015 Rev. Kim Hurst along with her team of volunteers began feeding approximately 5-10 families per week.
Within two years, this increased to around 50 families, and now the number of families visiting our Foodbank regularly ranges between 80 and 100 every week.
The need for our services has continued to grow and we now provide food from four distribution centres in Valletta, Paola, Birkirkara and St Paul’s Bay. We serve over 80 clients on a weekly basis including families, couples, individuals and people without a roof over their heads.
Our vision is to continue to provide a service to those in need by engaging with the public, companies and all of society to ensure that we have the resources to prevent those passing through difficult circumstances from suffering from hunger.
We hope our vision will be realised within the forthcoming year.
Board of Directors
Diana Joyce Nye
Founder (Non-board member)
I am a member of St Andrew's church in Valletta and have been a volunteer from the time The Foodbank started in 2015. I feel that I am called to be in Malta at this time to do what I can to help the people living on these islands. I moved from the UK to Malta in 2015 having been an active member of the United Reformed Church in East Kent for many years. Social responsibility has always been an important part of how I see my Christian beliefs being lived out.
Foodbank Lifeline has really made me aware that a segment of society in Malta desperately needs help, through no fault of their own. They are not able to feed their children or themselves or even able to afford items that so many of us take for granted and consider 'necessities'. Food for the hungry is our priority. With food in our bellies, we can function and focus on finding ways to be able to provide for ourselves. Reverend Kim Hurst asked me to join as a Board Member of the Foodbank Lifeline after we met in my role as an administrator of The Alfred Mizzi Foundation, a regular supporter to the foodbank. I'm so happy to be involved, to help raise awareness, help raise funds and do what we can stop hunger in Malta.
Julia Elizabeth Calvert
Rev. Kim Hurst has been a source of personal inspiration to me because of her dedication, passion and personal drive to help people in Malta and Gozo who are faced with unexpected, crisis-level situations. It was an honour to accept her offer to sit on the Foodbank Lifeline board and provide input and guidance on the brand's digital presence. Through the wonderful generosity of companies like Izola Bank, who have sponsored both the development of this new website, as well as the Reverse Advent Calendar campaign for two years running, we are able to continue to raise awareness about the important work we do. Difficulties in life can strike at any time and to anyone - but if we all join forces we can make a difference and ensure no one goes without food.
The outbreak of COVID-19 during March 2020 gave me the opportunity to join an organisation aimed at helping people through the pandemic. The increasing need for assistance brought about by the pandemic required Foodbank Lifeline to grow and I am honoured to have been asked to chair this Foundation during these challenging times. No person can be expected to be productive if they are hungry and it is our responsibility to help those who find themselves in crises through no fault of their own.
I love (good) food! Being fed is the one of the first and last things that living beings do, and therefore I believe that it is our duty to care for those in our community who are lacking in any way. ‘’If you can’t feed a hundred people, its ok, feed one, wholeheartedly’’. – Mother Theresa. Foodbank Lifeline Foundation’s mission fits perfectly with these wise words and I am happy to assist in my small way to achieve this objective.
I first learned about the incredible work of the Foodbank Lifeline Foundation when Gracey’s Brasserie started raising funds for various charities during the COVID-19 lockdown. I think we are all very much more aware how quickly circumstances, often beyond our control, can spiral downwards. Loss of income, employment, or ill health can happen to any of us and at any time. The work of Foodbank Lifeline, assisting families in Malta who are most in need, is something I am proud to support both as a board member and as a volunteer.
I first became aware of FLF through my children who were keen to participate in the RAC having heard about it on XFM. At that point I was unaware of just how many people were struggling in Malta to put food on their table. When we dropped off our donation and I saw firsthand how the foodbank was supporting these families and the hard work and commitment of those involved, I wanted to help and I became a volunteer. I was then asked to join the board and I did so without hesitation. My role is operational and very hands on, the focus is always to help those who are facing difficult times by providing them with food. The reward is being contacted by a family or individual to say they no longer need our help, that's when we know, the boxes of food we provide have made a difference.
Christopher Borg Cardona
My involvement with the Foodbank Lifeline Foundation started during the on-set of the Covid-19 crisis, when the St John Rescue Corps, where I am the Deputy Commissioner, was asked to assist in delivering food packs to hundreds of Clients in need. Food and nutrition security is considered a basic human right and I was overwhelmed to see individuals and families with children deprived from such a basic need, therefore, it was an honour for me to receive an invitation to join as Board Member at the Foodbank Lifeline Foundation, where I can contribute to this noble cause.
These are just a few of the NGOs and government organisations we work closely with. We are always happy to work alongside any institution, organisation or charity that works to help those facing financial crisis situations.
St Jeanne Antide Foundation
St Jeanne Antide Foundation
The Millennium Chapel
The Millennium Chapel
Jesuit Refugee Service
Jesuit Refugee Service