New figures show 80,000 people in Ireland relied on food parcels last year from a fund to help Europe’s poorest families.
Almost 1,000 tonnes of staple foods, like fresh meat, tinned foods, cheese and crackers, were delivered to families chronically struggling to make ends meet last year under the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, known as FEAD.
The food is distributed by a number of different charities, who collect provisions from depots in Dublin, Cork and Galway, run by FoodCloud, a social enterprise that also helps redistribute surplus food from supermarkets to charities.
Eimear Delahunty, of FoodCloud, said it has helped move more than 550,000 kilos of surplus food from retailers to more than 500 charities so far this year.
“This is the equivalent of over 1.2 million meals,” she said.
Another 430,000 kilos of food has been redistributed to charities through its three depots in Dublin, Cork and Galway.
St Vincent de Paul (SVP) said one in three calls it receives is related to food poverty. The charity spends €1 million every month helping feed families.