Monday 23 October 2017

Charity struggling to cope with food parcel demand, warns Martin

Sarah MacDonald

ARCHBISHOP of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has warned that "large numbers of people" in the capital are going hungry and that demand for food parcels from the charity Crosscare is outstripping supplies.

Parishes as well as retailers have been asked by the archbishop to donate non-perishable foodstuffs to Crosscare's food bank. "We are talking about large numbers of people who just don't have enough to eat," the archbishop told the Irish Independent.

Speaking after he had launched the 'Diocesan Crosscare food appeal' at the Pro Cathedral in Dublin, Dr Martin said: "One of the temptations of the wealthy is not to see the extent of the poverty (here)."

The archbishop said it was children and university students who were showing the effects of deprivation.

The situation was so serious that even university chaplains had expressed their concern to him about young students "from fairly wealthy backgrounds" who "just don't have decent nourishment".

Some teachers had revealed that "some children's level of nutrition is so low that it is affecting their ability to learn".

Crosscare was only able to provide 40 food parcels last week to one community when 120 parcels were needed. "The shelves of the food bank are empty, the food is not there," said the archbishop.

Last year Crosscare gave out 500 tonnes of foodstuffs, but already this year they have delivered 750 tonnes.

The Dublin diocesan-Crosscare food appeal will take place over Advent, although Archbishop Martin said he hoped that it would go on longer until Crosscare's stocks were replenished.

The types of food urgently needed include pasta, rice, tea, soup, sugar, tinned meat/fish, tinned veg/fruit, and hygiene products.

Irish Independent

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