Despite the economic upturn, food poverty in the south of Ireland remains a huge issue according to the head of the Cork region of Saint Vincent de Paul.
“We are finding that the impact poverty makes on people is very stubborn and the improvement in the economy it is not showing for some people as well as it should,” explained Paddy O’Flynn.
“We are still seeing a huge risk of homelessness and, in the last few years, we now have the impact of parental separation, which is a growing issue. We also have people needing help with accessing education as a result of rising transportation and accommodation costs.”
This Christmas, SVP will distribute more than 2,500 food hampers to people in need, right across Cork city and county. This is on top of the 300 to 400 hampers the organisation sends out every week.
Sadly, however, not everyone who needs such a boost will receive it. Volunteers at the charity said some people don’t want to answer the door in case it is a money lender calling to collect.
Others are simply too depressed about their financial situation to get out of bed to accept the delivery.
“Going forward we would hope that, with the economy improving, and with the news that unemployment will continue to reduce further, we would hope to see that reflected in somewhat of a reduction in the demands on our services,” said Mr O’Flynn.
“But you always have people in need. Even in the best of times, even during the Celtic Tiger, our services were still required. We might find some reduction in demand, we hope, but some demand will always be there.”