Huge rent on already strecehed families is drving up calls to the Portlaoise Saint Vincent DePaul (SVP) this Chistmas.
The charity issued a big appeal for donations and volunteers in an attempt to help people in this festive season .
The SVP is extremely busy making up over 250 food hampers for those in need with that figure expected to reach up to 1000.
Chairperson of the SVP Mary Cullen said the demand has grown in Portlaoise but they are seeing the impact of big rents.
“The requests that we have had for food, electricity and fuel this year are just phenomenal.
“ When I started with the SVP over 40 years ago the people who were in need were limited to three or maybe four housing estates around Portlaoise.
“Now there are people struggling to pay huge rents which take a colossal amount out of any income. This is a huge problem not only in Portlaoise but in every town and village countrywide.
“This leaves people and their families struggling to pay for the essential human needs of food, electricity and warmth. We help people with these shortfalls however we can and as much as we can,” she said.
The charity is struggling to keep up the the appeal.
“The SVP has spent over €50,000 within the past year trying to keep everyone who needs to avail of our services. We are now struggling ourselves and are in desperate need of donations as a matter of urgency to keep up with remaining committed to helping the people in need within our community,” she said.
People can make donations in several ways. For those who wish to make a cash donation this can be done directly into the St V de P bank account at the AIB bank in Lyster Square in Portlaoise.
The Sort code is 93-32-79 and the bank account number is 17987070. Donations of non-perishable foods can be left into the Parish Centre at Portlaoise Church.
Donations of good quality clothing along with cash donations and saleable items can be brought into the St V de P shop on the Dublin Road adjacent to Portlaoise church. Those who are in need are urged to contact the St Vde P helpline 087 765 5793.
The Portlaoise St V deP committee and volunteers wishes to thank people in advance of any donations that they might make and wishes everyone a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.