Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Monday, 8 October 2012 18:45 UK

Foodbanks

Simon Hamilton proposed the DUP motion calling on the Social Development Minister to "support and promote the work of foodbanks", on 8 October 2012.

He praised the work of a number of groups in Newtownards, Belfast and Ballynahinch that distributed food to those in need.

Sinn Fein's Mickey Brady backed the motion and acknowledged the importance of charities, but he said it was not their job "to take on the statutory role of the departments".

Michael Copeland of the UUP supported the motion.

He said that "as an assembly we should, and must, be committed to supporting people on low incomes".

Mark Durkan of the SDLP described the situation of many families as "dire".

Speaking for the Alliance Party, Anna Lo also welcomed the motion.

She said foodbanks had been shown to help tackle crime, homelessness, family breakdown and mental health problems.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland commended the commitment shown by foodbank volunteers.

Mr McCausland spoke about the importance of volunteering, engaging with faith communities and encouraging the uptake of benefits.

The motion was carried.

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