IT is the side of the recession that is seldom seen.
Wrapped up against the cold, several hundred people queued long before dawn to get food for Christmas. In all, 3,000 food parcels were given out to the needy at the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin.
From 7am yesterday, a line started to form down Bow Street, wrapping around the corner on to the next road.
"Nobody will go away empty-handed today," said centre manager Alan Bailey.
Inside the centre's dining hall, which feeds several hundred people each day, were two lines of tables and behind them a mountain of parcels.
Each person received one bag with chicken, rashers, sausages and milk, and another bag holding bread, butter, tea, sugar, beans, pasta and soup.
A team of volunteers ensured an efficient service and the crowds were kept moving in one door and out another in a steady flow.
But it wasn't all one-way traffic. One young man gave a box of chocolates and a card to Mr Bailey.
"Thanks for the help all over the year," he said.
"Isn't that amazing?" said Mr Bailey. "People are not here out of choice. That's a nice gesture, it makes it all worthwhile."