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support needed Dublin's Capuchin Centre urges public to 'look out for friends and neighbours this Christmas' as demand surges

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Alan Bailey with the gift voucher which replaces the Christmas lunches at the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street in Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath

Alan Bailey with the gift voucher which replaces the Christmas lunches at the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street in Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath

Alan Bailey with the gift voucher which replaces the Christmas lunches at the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street in Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath

THE CAPUCHIN Day Centre for Homeless People in Dublin has, in 2020, once again been at the fore-front in supporting homeless people in the capital – and this Christmas day will be no different.

Forced to abandon their annual hamper drive because of Covid 19 restrictions, the Centre has this year given out 2,800 €40 vouchers for Christmas groceries instead of the traditional hampers.

Speaking with the Sunday World, manager Alan Bailey said when the issue of the hampers came up, the Centre realised it would have to go a different route this Christmas.

“Last year we gave out 2,600 hampers ahead of Christmas,” Alan told the Sunday World.

“But with Covid restrictions and the fact the hampers have to be packed by hand, we knew that wouldn’t be possible this year.

“And from what we have seen since Covid hit in March, the hampers or their equivalent are needed like never before.

“So that’s when we decided to go down the route of sourcing the vouchers and in total we expect to give out 2,800 vouchers to help individuals and families who we have been supporting in 2020.”

Asked about the day to day demands on the Centre since Covid hit in March, Alan said they are seeing a whole new profile of client in the months since.

“Unfortunately we are now finding a new type of person coming in to us.

“An average dinner pre-Covid catered for 550 people.

“Now the average dinner caters for 850.

“And a lot of people are arriving in with children.

“The reality is, even with the 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.

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Alan Bailey runs the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street, Dublin, where 2,800 people queued up to collect food vouchers yesterday. Photo: Frank McGrath

Alan Bailey runs the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street, Dublin, where 2,800 people queued up to collect food vouchers yesterday. Photo: Frank McGrath

Alan Bailey runs the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street, Dublin, where 2,800 people queued up to collect food vouchers yesterday. Photo: Frank McGrath

“And that’s why the vouchers are so important this year.

“They will allow people to eat at home on a day when the centre isn’t open.

“And I would appeal to people to keep their eyes open this years for their friends and neighbours … because what we are seeing is there are people who look like they are doing fine who, in reality, have nothing and are going hungry.

“This year above all others people need to look out for each other.”

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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