Wake-up call on poverty

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Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea

NEW figures on food aid spending point to a wider issue relating to poverty and the fact that not everyone is feeling the recovery.

That’s according to Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea who was responding to statistics showing that €8.9 million had been spent at the end of November in Ireland on food aid through the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD).

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FEAD supports the actions of EU countries to provide material/food assistance to those in need. The total value of the fund in Ireland for the period 2014 to 2020 is €26.7 million, €4 million of which will come from the Irish Exchequer.

“While this fund is welcome, it is worrying that a significant number of people are dependent on this fund for food, which is a most basic necessity,” said Deputy O’Dea.

“Furthermore, it was also revealed that in 2017, though a network of charitable partnership organisations, the Department distributed almost 1,000 tonnes of food to almost 96,000 people in communities throughout the country, either in the form of food parcels or as meals prepared by a charitable organisation.

“The reality is that for many people in Ireland there is still no recovery and they are dependent on charity for basic necessities,” he concluded.