Over 1.9 tonnes in food donations have been distributed across Northern Ireland throughout 2023 as part of the Cinemagic Young Audiences Supporting Foodbanks Initiative, now in its second year. Rather than paying for ticket to gain entry to see family movies, those attending Cinemagic foodbank film screenings are asked to donate essential food items to support local community foodbanks.
In partnership with The Trussell Trust, Cinemagic delivered 26 foodbank film screenings across Northern Ireland in towns including Armagh, Ballymena, Limavady, Bangor, Belfast, Bellaghy, Lisburn and Portstewart. The initiative engaged with 2,915 young cinemagoers and the donations have equated to over 4,448 meals for local communities in Northern Ireland. The regional events were supported by Film Hub NI through the BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund, awarding funds from National Lottery.
The culmination of the year’s efforts saw over 450 young people and families attending the Cinemagic Northern Ireland Premiere of the 2023 CBeebies Pantomime ‘Robin Hood’ in Odeon Cinemas, Belfast.
Attending the final Cinemagic Young Audiences Supporting Foodbanks screening of the year, Belfast Lord Mayor, Ryan Murphy said:
“This is a really valuable community initiative that will help many families facing financial challenges, right across the city. We recently set a range of ambitious new targets in our community plan, The Belfast Agenda, to tackle current issues, including the cost-of-living crisis – which is sadly leading to an increased need for food banks. We’re a proud funder of Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival and it’s fantastic to see them making such a positive difference to so many lives.”
Chris Shaw, Cinemagic Festival Programmer said:
“As part of our social responsibility initiatives, Cinemagic was able to expand the campaign to help foodbanks across Northern Ireland and offer events as part of the Cinemagic Festival Programme in October as well as in towns throughout Northern Ireland and local arts venues who generously worked in partnership with us.
Utilising film to bring communities together for an important cause has been such a positive experience and it has been fantastic to see people of all ages getting behind the initiative to help others. We would like to thank all of the venues and audiences who have helped us reach over 1.9 tonnes in donations and 4448 meals for those in need which is incredible.”
Jonny Currie, Northern Ireland Network Lead, The Trussell Trust said:
“Everyone in Northern Ireland should be able to afford the essentials – to buy their own food and heat their homes. This has proved harder in the last year, as has been shown by the 26,000 people needing an emergency food parcel for the first time and a huge increase in children needing our support. This initiative by Cinemagic is helping to make a real difference by supporting local food banks and raising awareness of hunger in Northern Ireland.”
Press Information: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press Officer
The regional Cinemagic Young Audiences Supporting Foodbanks events were supported by Film Hub NI through the BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund, awarding funds from National Lottery.
Cinemagic Film Festival is funded by Belfast City Council and funded by The Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen.