A new initiative is aiming to deliver free food packs to thousands of disadvantaged families across Dublin in order to lessen the financial burden for parents during the lockdown.
Thousands of struggling families will benefit from the Good Grub initiative, which was set up two weeks ago in collaboration with Ballymun children’s charity The Aisling Project.
The initiative was founded by Denis O’Reilly, who runs a corporate social responsibility event business.
In a trial run conducted two weeks ago, one thousand packs were delivered to families of kids in 10 DEIS schools in northside Dublin.
“We had an unbelievable response and the reaction was massive,” he told Independent.ie.
“Families are in need of fresh produce with parents losing jobs and every bit of help was appreciated.
“We delivered vegetable packs to schools, which had carrots, onions, cabbage and parsnips, and then teachers distributed it to homes.”
John Clinton, acting principal in the Virgin Mary Boys National School in Ballymun, was one of those teachers.
“Myself and a helper from the Aisling Project took about 100 packets and we distributed 60 ourselves to homes of kids, dropping it at the door, ringing the bell, going back in the car and then waving through the window,” he explained.
“We then knew people who would have access to other disadvantaged families in the area and they got the rest of the vegetable packs.”
He said that delivering food packs to homes not only helped struggling families, but helped the teachers stay in touch with households and pupils.
“It keeps us in touch with parents as well, if someone’s there or if the kid sees a teacher outside of the window, it gives us a chance to see how things are in the house,” said John.
The initiative is currently aiming to raise €100,000 through its GoFundMe page in a bid to provide more food packs to families all over Dublin.
With over €40,000 raised, the organisers are working with Glanmore Foods to make food packets, filled with fresh and non-perishable ingredients, a regular delivery to families every week.
The acting principal said that there is a demand for food packets across the county.
“It lifts the burden and it’s that little bit extra,” added John.
“There is a demand for it, especially in Dublin 11. A lot of pupils would have gotten their breakfasts, lunches and a hot meal through schools but now that we have the lockdown, it’s an extra expense for parents.”
“The response has been very positive and it’s been great to help our parents in any way possible.”