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by Yvonne Fleming, Senior Manager, Crosscare

A quick internet search on foodbanks can lead to much confusion. Some commentators see them as a great way to support people and save surplus food from being wasted. For others, they are successful in their growing number but not successful in helping people out of poverty in the long term.

Food banks have been a lifeline for many for decades. They are run by highly motivated, generous people who wish to help people struggling for the basics while, at the same time, others have so much.

However, for several years in Crosscare, we saw how free food handouts alone were not enough to help people get back on their feet. Families kept coming for supplies and could not find a way forward from the humiliation of queuing for food nor a way back to the independence of being able to shop for themselves and their families.

We realised that food poverty was a symptom of many more serious issues. People needed more from us. We took the radical decision to close our food banks and put an enhanced service in place.

Now we help families and individuals with food supplies, and through our skilled caseworkers, with any other issues that have brought them into poverty, for example, the rising cost of living, debt, illness, increasing rents or lack of access to social welfare.

We have discreet food collection and casework centres across Dublin – in Finglas, Ronanstown, Jobstown, Nutgrove, Bonnybrook, Blanchardstown, and Dublin 1 – with plans to establish more where needed.

Close to 500 families and individuals, including 300 children, have needed help with food from us this year, and we know many more need our support.

We have helped them regain financial stability and the simple dignity of what we all take for granted: the ability to shop and choose their own food.

Let’s give people a hand up, not a handout.


Please share these details through your networks and to people who may need this service. No referral is required: / Tel: 01-8913022

Contact us to discuss how we can link this service to people you may work with , Tel: 0877696502
This  blog first appeared on line on The Wheel.  The Wheel is Ireland’s national association of charities, community groups and social enterprises.