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Capuchin Centre manager fears Omnicron surge will push even more into food poverty

Forced to abandon their annual hamper drive because of Covid 19 restrictions, the Centre has this year given out 2,800 grocery vouchers instead of the traditional hampers.
There's been a notable increase in the number of families who have fallen into food poverty

There's been a notable increase in the number of families who have fallen into food poverty

Pat O'Connell

THE MANAGER of the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People in Dublin fears the new Omnicron surge will push even more people into food poverty.

Throughout 2021, the centre had been at the forefront of supporting homeless people in the Capital but increasingly it is also feeding families who have fallen into food poverty.

Speaking with the Sunday World, Manager Alan Bailey said the number of dinners being supplied at the centre each day has grown from between 500 to 600 pre-Covid to between 700 and 800 currently.

“There is no doubt but that Covid is having a serious impact on families who were formerly just about able to make ends meet,” he said.

Retired garda Alan Bailey at the Capuchin Day Centre

Retired garda Alan Bailey at the Capuchin Day Centre

“We are feeding an ever-increasing amount of families and young children each day.

“The problem is that whatever cushion these people had is now gone.

“And even with government supports, people are being stretched like never before.

“People who had part time jobs to supplement their income have lost them and they can no longer put enough food on the tables seven days a week to feed their families.

Asked whether he fears the Omnicron surge will again increase the numbers of people and families in need to food aid, Alan said: “We hope not but the longer it goes on, that seems to be what is happening.”

Forced to abandon their annual hamper drive because of Covid 19 restrictions, the Centre has this year given out 2,800 grocery vouchers instead of the traditional hampers.

Alan said, pre-Covid, the Centre would have been doling out in the region of 2,600 hampers.

Last year was the first year the Centre realised it would have to go a different route for Christmas.

“This year, we’re giving out 2,800 vouchers,” said Alan.

“We gave out the tickets for the vouchers a week before they were to go out and we had people queuing from 5am in the morning.

“There is a lot of need out there this year.”

For donations by phone (credit cards) contact Brother Kevin, Monica and Alan at (01) 8720770 or alternatively email info@capuchindaycentre.ie.


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