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Dublin: 18°C Saturday 25 September 2021

1,400 food parcels a week, 900 meals a day and 'no sense of it easing up' at the Capuchin Day Centre

Since last year they have also been putting together baby food and nappy packs for families with young children.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

EVERY WEDNESDAY FROM 6am, a team of volunteers buzz around a cramped storeroom full of tinned beans, packs of sugar, bread and other food supplies to bag up 1,400 parcels for people in need.

Brother Sean Donohoe of the Capuchin Day Centre says numbers coming to collect these packages each week are growing – and staff in the kitchen are now preparing up to 900 hot meals each day.

Even during February’s snowstorm, 1,000 people visited the centre to pick up vital supplies.

“There’s no sense of it easing up,” he says. “We have more families coming…mainly it’s because the whole rental sector has gone out of control.”

Brother Sean says the service is increasingly being used by people who lost their homes because they could no longer afford to pay rent, and now they are locked out of the system.

“Building needs to start to happen,” he says, as the demand for the Capuchin Day Centre’s services is growing day by day.

Along with food packages, the centre has also been putting together packages of baby food and nappies for families with young children.

“If you’re on social welfare or if you haven’t got the finances that’s a huge chunk of money,” he says. “So we have 250 families coming in every Monday now.”

As the centre prepares for the Pope’s visit later this month, gone are the days when 550 people coming for lunch is a manic day in the kitchen.

“Now that’s a very quiet day,” Brother Sean says.

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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