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Food Poverty a Hidden Epidemic- Cllr Sarah Holland

11 April, 2016 - by Sarah Holland

 Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Cllr Sarah Holland, has today highlighted the hidden epidemic of food poverty in Ireland.

She said

“One in ten people in Ireland suffer from food poverty, and this is across every demographic.

Those most affected are the unemployed, ill or disabled and lone parents, but increasing numbers of visitors to foodbanks are working.”

Citing the Combat Poverty, European Anti Poverty Network and Safefood EU reports, Cllr Holland said

“Demand for food banks is increasing, with Crosscare and Bia Food having to expand their operations across urban centres in Ireland.

8% of Irish people overall live in consistent poverty, a rate which doubled between 2008 and 2014.

Anecdotally, I have heard of parents unable to send their kids to school because they had no packed lunch to give them, and many kids are turning up at school without breakfast.”

Cllr Holland went on to say:

“How are parents in these vulnerable demographics supposed to give their kids a warm winter coat, or good shoes, if they can’t even afford to give them a roast dinner once a week?

The cost of living in Ireland is scandalously high - school uniforms and voluntary donations, astronomical rents and childcare costs and a lack of social supports for those who need them mean the divide between rich and poor is widening, and becoming normalised.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, propped up by Labour, have been at the helm here for nearly 100 years.

Whilst we wait on them finishing their dance, nothing is being done to address the social inequalities they have helped create.

It is time for them to step up to the plate.”

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