People Stand Cold and Hungry, on the Streets of Dublin, the Legacy of this Fucking Useless Government?? You wont see a Fianna Fail TD Standing in the Cold???

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Hundreds of people queue from 5am for Christmas food vouchers

  13 hrs ago


Hundreds of people queued in the cold outside the Capuchin Day Centre in inner-city Dublin on Tuesday morning for Christmas food vouchers.

Almost 3,000 vouchers were given out as part of the annual drive to help those in need during the festive season.

And the manager of the centre said this year was ‘as tough a period’ as he has experienced in more than 40 years of volunteering. Both young and old were seen lining up on Tuesday, including mothers with children in their school uniforms.Hundreds of people queued in the cold outside the Capuchin Day Centre in inner-city Dublin on Tuesday morning for Christmas food vouchers. Pic: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie Hundreds of people queued in the cold outside the Capuchin Day Centre in inner-city Dublin on Tuesday morning for Christmas food vouchers. Pic: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

The queue started at 4.50am outside the centre in Smithfield, north Dublin, with the number of those waiting rising to around 500 by 8am when the centre’s hatch opened. The long line stretched down Bow Street and onto May Lane towards Church Street.

Those waiting outside the centre said the voucher would allow them to pay essential bills such as electricity or heating over the tough winter period.

The Capuchin Day Centre has been giving out Christmas hampers every year since the 1970s.Almost 3,000 vouchers were given out as part of the annual drive to help those in need during the festive season. Pic: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie Almost 3,000 vouchers were given out as part of the annual drive to help those in need during the festive season. Pic: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

However, the charity had to scrap the traditional hamper of non-perishable goods last year and this year due to pandemic-related health and safety concerns –- instead opting to hand out a supermarket voucher.

The centre also increased the value of the voucher this year, from €40 to €50.

The Christmas voucher initiative costs the charity around €150,000.The queue started at 4.50am outside the centre in Smithfield, north Dublin, with the number of those waiting rising to around 500 by 8am when the centre’s hatch opened. Pic: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie The queue started at 4.50am outside the centre in Smithfield, north Dublin, with the number of those waiting rising to around 500 by 8am when the centre’s hatch opened. Pic: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

The manager of the Capuchin Day Centre, Alan Bailey, said the total running costs for the centre will total around €4million this year.

He said this winter was ‘as tough a period as I’ve ever had’ since he started volunteering with the charity in the early 1970s.

Mr Bailey also said COVID restrictions and the fallout from them had contributed towards the increased demand for vouchers.The manager of the Capuchin Day Centre, Alan Bailey, said the total running costs for the centre will total around €4million this year. Pic: Sean Dwyer© Provided by Extra.ie The manager of the Capuchin Day Centre, Alan Bailey, said the total running costs for the centre will total around €4million this year. Pic: Sean Dwyer

He said: ‘I mean, people have been supported at a great rate by Government initiatives and all that, which has made somewhat of a difference, but at the same time, nobody’s finding it easy at the moment. What we find actually is a lot of people [who] are in difficulty are pretty stretched because of all the various COVID restrictions.’

Mr Bailey added that ‘they’re in receipt of these different payments, but at the same time, there are tight margins’.

He also said that the ongoing uncertainty around COVID restrictions is making conditions even more difficult.

Mr Bailey remarked: ‘The thing with us here, our ethos [is] we don’t ask questions. What we will say is that if you are standing in that queue for 4.50am, you have a need for something.’

The charity had increased the number of vouchers available this year by 500 – from 2,500 in 2020 to 3,000 in 2021.

The organisation said it expected higher demand and had ‘prepared accordingly’.

Despite this, Mr Bailey said hundreds more people who needed vouchers were left disappointed.

The €50 voucher for Dunnes Stores can be used to purchase food and clothes but cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco or lottery cards.

Just €450,000 of the centre’s budget comes from the Government, with fundraising and donations from the public making up the remaining costs.

‘The service we provide for that sort of money, I think it’s good value for it,’ said Mr Bailey.

The charity also offers dinners to some of the city’s poorest people every day, as well as weekly food parcels.

The daily dinner service has seen a huge rise in demand since the onset of the pandemic. Mr Bailey said that before March 2020, the centre provided an average of 550 eat-in dinners a day. That has now risen to around 750, with meals being takeaway-only.

He paid tribute to Dunnes Stores, where vouchers given out by the charity can be used, saying that the supermarket had been ‘very good to us’.

The charity also thanked the public for donating truck-loads of non-perishable food items to the centre over the last number of days and weeks.

A separate warehouse across the road from the centre contains shelves and boxes of items such as canned vegetables, cereals, biscuits, porridge oats, pasta sauces, beans, crisps and sugar as well as nappies, toiletries and baby clothes that have been donated by people all over the country.The Capuchin Day Centre was founded in 1969 by Brother Kevin Crowley. Pic: Fran Veale© Provided by Extra.ie The Capuchin Day Centre was founded in 1969 by Brother Kevin Crowley. Pic: Fran Veale

All donations will be sorted and given to those in need next month.

The Capuchin Day Centre was founded in 1969 by Brother Kevin Crowley.

It will close on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day and reopen on Monday, December 27 for breakfast.

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