SVP seeing levels of demand in Cork city usually witnessed in run-up to Christmas

SVP seeing levels of demand in Cork city usually witnessed in run-up to Christmas

Paddy O'Flynn, reional president at St Vincent de Paul said that a number of issues have come together which are resulting in increased demands for help being made by families. 

UP to 40 food hampers a week are being given out in Cork City by St Vincent de Paul.

That is according to the organisation’s regional president Paddy O’Flynn.

Mr O’Flynn told The Echo that it is unusual for this time of year, given that food hampers are typically at most demand later in the year.

He added that the level of calls since early July in Cork has increased by 15% on the same period last year.

Among the costs being faced by people seeking help are utility bills as well as back-to-school costs, including footwear, uniforms, and school books.

He said that a number of issues have come together which are resulting in increased demands for help being made by families, including the return to school and the reduction in the pandemic unemployment payment.

From mid-September, rates will fall in the payment.

“Some people have spent the back-to-school allowance too early, others do not have the money for basic things like food,” said Mr O’Flynn.

“We are giving out between 30 and 40 substantial food hampers a week in Cork city.”

Mr O’Flynn said that the current level of demands from people is usually seen in the run-up to Christmas.

He is urging people not to be tempted to turn to money lenders to help to cover the cost of returning to school.

Mr O’Flynn said there are other options open to people, including credit union loans and advice on budgeting from Mabs.

Mr O’Flynn said that the organisation’s finances have been hit by the lack of church gate collections during the pandemic, as well as the closure of the charity’s shops across the country for long periods over the past 18 months.

He urged people to help support the work of St Vincent de Paul by logging onto www.svp.ie and nominating the southwest region for a donation, or by contacting 0181 176 176.

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