'New poor' join food parcels queue
Published 24/11/2010 | 14:32
Ireland's new poor are struggling to survive the job losses of the recession and are among hundreds queueing for free food parcels each week, a charity campaigner has revealed.
As the Government publishes a four-year master plan to get the country back on the road to recovery, the stark truth about some of Dublin's most disadvantaged is laid bare at a day centre run by monks.
Campaigner Brother Kevin Crowley revealed people are living in fear of a planned 6 billion euro budget.
"There's anxiety. The biggest fear is the budget," he said. "One of the things I'm concerned about is how the poor and working-class people come out the worst in all of these situations."
The Capuchin Day Centre was founded by Brother Kevin in the late 1960s. At the time just 50 food parcels a week were handed out to Dublin's homeless, many of whom had drink or drug addictions.
"We have a new kind of person coming now," he continued. "Over the last year we have people who are finding it difficult to make ends meet, who have problems trying to run their homes and these are the people that we call the new poor."
"A number of people are of course ashamed to come to a place like this for food. It's very difficult to queue in the street for food. It's degrading for people.
"Some of the little kids that come in here with their parents have to tell their pals in school they're going to a hotel for their dinner."
Up to 250 breakfasts and 400 hot lunches are dished out to the city's most disadvantaged every day.