A local restaurant has pledged to continue the spirit of Thanksgiving by helping to feed people who are struggling.
Glengormley eatery, Hot Igloo, which opened its doors earlier this year is pledging to feed the hungry from the local area and even provide jobs for those in need.
In the Newtownabbey area it is understood that one in five of all children are living below the poverty line, a truly saddening figure which has inspired the family run business to take action.
Working with the Newtownabbey Foodbank, Hot Igloo aims to help raise awareness and donations for local people in need.
David Boyd, Manager of the restaurant said: “It’s very sad to think that as we all enjoy delicious food each and every week that our neighbours might be struggling to provide even the simplest of meals for themselves and their family.
“At Hot Igloo we aim to be a part of the community and being truly involved means helping others. We are encouraging our customers to bring in a donation to our foodbank drop box and in return we will offer all who donate 20 per cent off their food bill from Monday – Wednesday.”
David added: “It’s our way of saying both thank you to our customers and encouraging all of us to be thankful for what we have while at the same time helping those who don’t have as much.
“We are also committed to providing jobs for people who are struggling and will work with the team at the Newtownabbey Foodbank to create a minimum of four jobs per year.”
To celebrate Thanksgiving, Hot Igloo will also be launching a delicious new menu which will further extend the wide variety of dishes on offer in the busy restaurant.
The new menu will feature American themed dishes from the grill headed up by an expert grill bar chef with over 30 years experience, as well as adding to the selection of mouth-watering stone baked pizzas, including the new secret recipe pizza sauce, straight from the experts in Italy along with tasty pastas and burgers.
The restaurant boasts Ireland’s largest ‘Igloo’ style pizza oven and prides itself on its welcoming family atmosphere.
David continued: “Family is very important to us, and there are many of my family working here at Hot Igloo, from brothers and sisters, to sons and daughters, cousins, parents and aunts and uncles, everyone plays a part, that’s why we value the family network.
“We hope that our family can help other families in the area to enjoy a meal together, whether that is here in the restaurant, or elsewhere with the help of the foodbank.”
The Newtownabbey Foodbank opened in 2015 in partnership with the Trussel Trust. Since then they have provided food for 7,218 people, 3,303 of those have been children.
Carolyn Arnold, Secretary Newtownabbey Foodbank said: “Having such a well-known business support our work is incredible and we are extremely grateful.
“People of all ages come to the foodbank for many different reasons through no fault of their own. It may be loss of employment, benefit delays, low income or breakdown of a relationship and they find themselves in a situation where it is a choice between food or rent or heat or food.”
Carolyn added: “That is when the foodbank is there to support them. They can request a voucher from a social worker, mental health support worker, headmaster, doctor, local support groups, St Vincent de Paul or local MLA’s office.
“Foodbank volunteers will also signpost people to other support agencies such
as CAB, Christians Against Poverty (CAP) a free debt counselling service, the CAP Job Club, Manna the children’s charity shop and the School Uniform Ministry.”
For those wishing to donate there will be a food collection box in Hot Igloo. Please bring only non perishable foods.
Those in need of the foodbanks can visit: Carnmoney Presbyterian (Monday 2pm – 4pm and Wednesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm), Abbots Cross Presbyterian Church (Tuesday 10am – noon and Thursday 6:30pm – 8:30pm), Ballyclare Presbyterian Church (Thursday 2:30pm - 5pm) and Greencastle Methodist (Tuesday 6:30pm – 8pm snd Friday 3pm – 4:30pm).
For more information on the Newtownabbey Foodbank, check out