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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 18 January, 2018
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Volunteers will feed 3,500 poor and homeless people a Christmas dinner today

The 350 volunteer spots filled up within a day this year.

Volunteers at the 2010 dinner.
Volunteers at the 2010 dinner.
Image: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

OVER 300 VOLUNTEERS will today provide 3,500 meals to homeless people.

The meals will be provided by the Members of the Royal Dublin Society, who have once again provided their facilities to the Knights of St Columbanus for the 93rd Christmas Day Dinner, a feature of Dublin since 1924.

They will be given to both visitors to the RDS and take aways delivered to sheltered housing.

Some 500 guests will be provided with a three-course meal of soup, traditional Christmas dinner and Christmas pudding along with refreshments and entertainment. In addition, some 3,000 Christmas dinners and Christmas puddings are
prepared and delivered to the homes of the poor and needy throughout the Dublin area.

Organisers say the demand for the takeaway dinners has increased significantly over recent years. Volunteers also pack “goody bags” with food, toiletries, soft drinks and household goods.

This bag of provisions is provided to all 500 guests attending the dinner and a bag is included with each of the 3,000 takeaway meals to help the poor and homeless during Christmas Day and on St Stephen’s Day.

The dinner, which used to take place in the Mansion House, has grown from 1,200 meals in 2011 to 3,500 today. Volunteers will provide transport to and from the RDS, with pick-ups every 20 minutes from 9.30am to 11.30am from the Mansion House, Four Courts and Clery’s on O’Connell Street.

Chairman for the Christmas Day Dinner, Adrian King has said:

“We thank the members of the RDS and their Management Team for providing the homeless and the most vulnerable in our society with warm and comfortable surroundings on Christmas Day. We thank the many volunteers for their enthusiasm and commitment and for extending a friendly and spiritual welcome to all with little food or money during this holy time.

“We invite all those in need to attend the RDS to celebrate Christmas Day with us.”

The 350 volunteer spots filled up within a day this year, with all volunteers having undergone a training day earlier this month.

Read: ‘It’s deeply, deeply depressing’: There are still over 3,300 children homeless in Ireland

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