THE Society of the St Vincent de Paul is hoping for a last-minute surge in donations before Christmas, after areas found themselves with no food or toys to give to those in need.
For the first time, the charity's warehouse in Cork ran out of gifts and hampers to distribute to families in the Munster region.
After years of normally "being waist-deep in food and toys", it is appealing to the public to dig deep as December 25 approaches.
The SVP's Cork conference looks after 5,000 families a week and there are hundreds that are still in need of assistance.
"The store was completely bare at the start of the week and it's very worrying," said Brendan Dempsey, a volunteer with the SVP.
While it is not the only reason for the fall in donations, Mr Dempsey said the fall-out from the CRC controversy is tempering all the good work in raising awareness of the need for funds.
Donations to the SVP can be made locally or online at www.svp.ie.