€5.2m Govt Spend On Food Aid Revealed

The Government has so far this year spent more than €5 million on food aid, it has emerged.

Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea discovered the figures in a Parliamentary Reply, which he says are demonstrative of the true extent of deprivation across the country.

The money has been spent on the European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), which provides food and basic consumer products to people most at risk.

In 2018 the Government spent €5.5m on the FEAD programme and distributed over 1,300 tonnes of food to almost 152,000 people in communities throughout the country, either in the form of food parcels or as meals prepared by charitable organisations.

Deputy O'Dea said it looks likely that last year's spend will be either matched or exceeded.

"This level of funding highlights in very stark terms the fact that after nine years of Fine Gael in government, not all sections of society are sharing in the economic prosperity and have to rely on assistance for such a basic necessity as food," he said.

"Furthermore, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul said it expects to receive more than 50,000 calls from families this winter struggling to afford the basics; last week alone the organisation's regional offices took over 5,000 calls from families struggling to heat their homes and put food on the table.

"Whilst the latest SILC data reveals a modest improvement in poverty and deprivation rates, it is evident that thousands of people the length and breadth of this county are still struggling to make ends meet and are forced to rely on assistance and charity for essential items. Under Fine Gael poverty and deprivation remain significant issues and this data on food aid underscores the very real divide that exists in our society under its leadership."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 March 2020
Other News In Brief
Social Media Companies Urged To Tackle Misinformation On Covid-19 Social media companies have been urged to "step up their game" in tackling misinformation on Covid-19.
16 March 2020
People Urged Not To Call 999 Over Covid-19 Testing
People who suspect they might need a test for Covid-19 are being urged to not call 999 or 112 as these emergency services must be used "for the work they do". Making the call, Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said that anyone with suspected symptoms should contact their GP, who will arrange a test if they believe it to be necessary.
12 March 2020
Retailers Urged Not To Take Advantage Of Consumers
Retailers have been urged not to use the COVID-19 crisis as an excuse to take advantage of consumers.
02 July 2015
23,000 New Jobs To Be Created In Agri Food Sector
23,000 new jobs are expected to created in the agri food sector by 2025. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, announced plans for a new 10-year strategy named Food Wise 2025. Food Wise 2025 was officially launched by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD.
09 November 2011
Fast Food Firms Face School Planning Hurdle
Measures may be introduced to stop fast food outlets from operating near schools. Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald is in talks with Planning Minister Willie Penrose to stop the fast food firms opening near schools.