Laois charities urged to tap into of food aid scheme

Leinster Express Reporter

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Laois charities urged to tap into of food aid scheme

Charities can help needy through food supply scheme.

Charities in Laois and other parts of the country have been urged to tap into a food supply scheme for people in need, through the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived (FEAD). 

Employment Affairs & Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty said 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.

“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.”

Charities can apply to the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection to access the fund.  If eligible, their needs are assessed according to the number of individuals and families they assist and the nature of their assistance.

The charities then arrange to collect FEAD supported products every week or month or quarterly according to their needs.

In 2017, the charities used the food distributed by FEAD to provide over 1.5 million meals and 250,000 food packs throughout Ireland.

The food is centrally stored and made available from its three depots operated by FoodCloud Hubs in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

FoodCloud Hubs also connect food businesses with large volumes of surplus food to charities through their 3 distribution hubs. Charities can avail of the European backed food purchased through the FEAD fund and surplus stock secured by FoodCloud Hubs from industry.      

Charities wishing to avail of the FEAD scheme should email fead@welfare.ie.