Being Someone’s Lifeline
Why we 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, because we believe no child or adult should ever experience hunger.
We do our utmost to ensure that anyone in such a situation will have access to enough food in the short-term, until a more long-term solution is found.
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 personal situation, we will make sure they have enough food to enable them to focus on improving their circumstances.
How we help
Foodbank Lifeline provides 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.
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.
It takes a lot of organising and planning to collect food, sort into packs from our warehouse in Marsa and distribute through six distribution centres, referred to as Food Hubs, in Valletta, Marsa, Birgu, Sliema, Qawra and Gozo. Our volunteers work tirelessly to make our operation as smooth as possible.
How we operate
Our foodbank relies entirely on the generosity of people and businesses. What we receive as food donations is checked, sorted and included into weekly food packs. What we receive as monetary donations is used to purchase food from various supermarkets and distributors with whom we have built a relationship over the years.
We have a wonderful team of volunteers who help us and a staff complement of two including our full time Foodbank Manager and our driver who helps to collect food donations from all over the islands and distribute food packs to our hubs.
We would not be where we are today without the help of our two main sponsors:
Whilst the number of individuals, couples and families we help varies on a weekly basis, since our formation in 2015, the sad situation is that demand for our foodbank has grown.
On average we provide well over 16,000 food packs a year, helping to feed people in 300+ homes.
Vision and values
We connect with businesses and the community to ensure we always have the tools, food and resources we constantly need to keep operating.
No matter a person’s story, situation, race or religion we are here to give HOPE:
Help Other People Eat.
No one should suffer the indignity of hunger. We’re here to help people face their circumstances with the sustenance they need to focus on helping their situation.
We hope that one day our foodbank will not exist because hunger will no longer be an issue facing our community. Till that day it is our mission to help feed people in desperate need.
Our founder, Reverend Kim Hurst moved to Malta in 2015 to take over as Minister of St Andrew’s Scots Church in Valletta. After witnessing on a few occasions people going through rubbish bins to find and eat discarded food, she enquired as to the locations of the island’s foodbanks. On discovering there was none, she quickly set up the very first Foodbank which gave food directly to people in need in the basement of the church during the summer of 2015.
From the 30 families a week Rev Kim and her team were feeding initially, the numbers began to grow. Eventually the Foodbank needed to become its own entity due to the demand for its services.
In 2018 Foodbank Lifeline was established as a foundation and in 2019 Foodbank Lifeline Foundation Malta was registered as a voluntary organisation.
Board of Directors
We are thankful to every member of our team of volunteers, our staff members and to our Board of Directors for their time, dedication and commitment to running our Foodbank. As an NGO everyone donates their time, their ideas and shares in a collective passion to be better together for the good of people in need.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FOODBANK LIFELINE MANAGER
Barbra is our Foodbank Lifeline Manager and she is the perfect fit for her job due to her unique mix of skills and experience. She is a patient and compassionate person who takes the time to reassure and guide those in need of support. Her caring nature is evident in the way she interacts with clients, putting them at ease and ensuring they receive the help they require from Foodbank and other organizations. Barbra's exceptional people skills make her an invaluable asset to our team.
Barbra's role as a manager at the Marsa stores is a demanding one, but she leads by example, always with her sleeves rolled up, ready to help her volunteers with the heavy lifting and sorting of donations. She motivates her team to work efficiently and effectively, ensuring the hundreds of food parcels provided each week are sorted, packed and distributed on time. Barbra is always on the go, with her phone ringing constantly. Whether she is negotiating with suppliers for better prices to purchase food or taking a few minutes to chat with one of the elderly or housebound clients who just want to hear a friendly voice, she is always working hard to make a positive difference in the lives of those she serves. Barbra's hard work and dedication are truly admirable, and they have made a significant impact on the community she serves. She is a hugely valuable member of our team.
FOODBANK LIFELINE DRIVER
Darren is the superhero of our Foodbank Lifeline team. As the official driver, he collects all the food donations and delivers food packs to our food distribution points across the island. But what sets Darren apart is his larger-than-life personality and his immense pride in his work. He's a fantastic member of our team and we honestly don't know what we'd do without him. We're incredibly grateful to Gasan Group for allowing Darren to donate a full day a week to Foodbank Lifeline. He also goes above and beyond by volunteering his own time to run the food hub in Qawra and delivering food on weekends to our community in Gozo.
Darren's dedication to his job is truly awe-inspiring. He's up before dawn and works tirelessly until late at night, but you'd never know it from his infectious energy and enthusiasm. Darren keeps Foodbank Lifeline's wheels turning and we're not just talking about the van that he keeps in pristine condition. He's a huge asset to our Foodbank and we feel lucky to have him on our team.