Friday 23 February 2018

Monthly food bill for homeless in capital tops €100,000

sarah stack and Breda Heffernan

THE food bill to feed Dublin's homeless has doubled to more than €100,000 a month because of the recession.

Staff at the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street said they were serving about 600 meals each day, as well as packing up to 1,100 food parcels a week.

The overall cost of running the centre stands at €1.3m a year, double what it was a year ago.

Volunteer Paddy Pender, who will take part in a charity walk for the centre tomorrow, said the figures were alarming.

"It's hard to believe that the proceeds from the walk will only cover the food bill for a week or so," she said.

"What is important though is that people grow in awareness about the problem of homelessness."

Brother Kevin Crowley, who founded the centre over 40 years ago, said: "We have nearly 400 people -- maybe more -- for dinner, and 200 in the morning time. We also have a number of people who come in for showers.

"We are seeing a new pool of people who have lost their jobs and are on the verge of losing their homes."

A small group of supporters will walk from Glendalough, Co Wicklow, to Dublin to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people during the recession and to raise funds.

As they make their way over the Dublin Hills, they will rely on the kindness of those they meet along the route for drinks and snacks.

"Even on a warm day, this route to Dublin is very exposed to all kinds of weather conditions -- cold, rain and strong winds," said Ms Pender.

The group will leave Glendalough Hermitage at 8am and arrive at Capuchin Friary in Church Street, Dublin, at 7pm for a Gospel Mass.

Irish Independent

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