Employment Affairs & Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty has urged local charities to avail of the food products that are made available for people in need, through the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived (FEAD).
The Minister was on a visit to the FoodCloud Hubs facility that stores such food products and manages their distribution. She met with representatives of a number of charities that already avail of the EU initiative through FEAD and heard their views on its benefits for financially disadvantaged people.
The total value of FEAD up to 2020 in Ireland is €26.7m, €4 m of which comes from the Irish Exchequer. Almost two-thirds of the funding is applied to the provision of food with the remaining going to the provision of basic material assistance.
Minister Doherty said, “In addition to the provision of food aid, my department is working with partner organisations to deliver basic material aid. For example, using FEAD funding, the Mid-West Simon Community distributed 4,000 school start kits last Summer, to children from families who access their services.”
Almost 1,000 tonnes of FEAD food was collected from the FoodCloud Hubs depots in Dublin, Galway and Cork in 2017. This food was distributed by 137 charities, to over 85,000 people. In addition, the Irish Red Cross are using €800,000 of the funding to assist new migrants to Ireland with personal care kits.
“I would encourage any charity who works on food distribution within their communities to contact my department to apply for access to food through this European fund. FEAD enables our partner charities to connect with people in need within their communities. Through the distribution of food and other aid, stronger relationships build and further assistance can be made available,” the minister concluded.