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Crosscare was delighted to be invited to the University of Limerick by Professor Eoin Devereux to be part of a panel of academics and practitioners speaking at their Research Week session on food poverty.

Academics spoke about recent research, including the flaws of the food banking model; Lorraine O Connor of Muslim Sisters of Eire spoke about their work in Dublin and Limerick with street homeless people, and Yvonne Fleming, on behalf of Crosscare, spoke of our model of change and progress.

Through our work over many years with families and individuals in food poverty and through research, we believe food banks are not the solution to food poverty.

The normalisation of food banks in a mature welfare state is wrong. Queuing for free food costs a person’s dignity. Food banks are a sticking plaster where a more substantial response to poverty is needed.

Diverting food from landfills to food banks saves big corporations on waste management and is seen as an environmental solution—but why should people in need eat near-use-by-date food?

In recent years, Crosscare has moved on from food banks. We still offer free food, but this is combined with casework to address why people arrive at the point where they need it.

We offer this service in discreet locations, by appointment, with no queuing. We support people in addressing the routes into food poverty, helping people to make new links and learn new skills. We use the evidence collected in this work to inform changes in state policy and programme level. We know what would help:

  • bring social protection payments in line with inflation
  • Simplify the application process for state and local authority services and payments and provide in-person support when needed.

These issues are among the key drivers of food poverty. We also want to change the conversation about food banks. We use every possible forum to do this, from social media to traditional media to academic settings. We are open to attending other events to share our story and support the development of more progressive services for those experiencing food poverty.

 

  • For more information on our Food Poverty Service, please get in touch with yvonnefleming@crosscare.ie
  • If you or anyone you know needs help with food, please get in touch with our caseworkers at email: foodcaseworkservice@crosscare.ie Phone: 01-8913022