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WATCH Midwest Simon Community provides monthly food bank service for people of Limerick

Midwest Simon Food Bank – Eleshia Fahy, Head of Operations and Jenny Walsh, Food Bank Coordinator at Mid West Simon Community. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick

WATCH Midwest Simon Community provides monthly food bank service for people of Limerick

By I Love Limerick correspondent Mary Caroline McCarthy


Midwest Simon Community is providing a monthly food bank service to the people struggling financially in Limerick. This operation provides people with a more dignified way to receive help getting food for their families and for themselves.


Midwest Simon Community has been established since October 2006. The service covers the counties of Clare, Limerick, and North Tipperary. They aim to support people through their journey out of homelessness by providing appropriate accommodation and care services, tailored to their individual needs.


Since 2014, Midwest Simon has supported clients by offering a foodbank service to individuals and families experiencing food poverty and/or those at risk of homelessness. Each month, 18 pallets of branded basic staples (e.g. pasta, rice, cereals, cooking sauces, tinned products, tea, coffee, and sugar.) are delivered for distribution to registered Service Users who have requested support to augment their weekly grocery shop.


Midwest Simon is also about to launch a feasibility study about opening a social grocery in Limerick. A social grocery gives people better options for nutritious based foods People would have the opportunity to go in and get help in a more dignified way. It would be empowering people to access fresh produce at a lower and more affordable cost, and it will also give people a more dignified way of accessing food, rather than having to queue up at a food bank.


In Limerick, the food bank operates from their office on Speaker’s Corner, Lower Carey’s Road. To date, Midwest Simon supports 2,000 people weekly with food aid across the region and is the second-largest distributor of the FEAD programme in Ireland. The Fund of European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) is designed to support member states in addressing the basic needs of the most deprived people in our community.


Good-quality affordable food, available and accessible to all, is a basic human right and necessitates political and community intervention beyond welfare provision. The expansion of Midwest Simon food bank into geographical communities of disadvantaged people will help address some of these inequities.


These food banks are available in Limerick, Nenagh and Ennis. In Limerick, since the start of Covid-19, the number of people Midwest Simon has helped with their food bank have doubled. Covid has had a massive effect on the people of Ireland’s regular income and a lot of people have been left to rely on charities such as the Midwest Simon Community.


The next two food banks will be available on Friday, November 27, and Friday, December 18. You can attend there, from 11 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm and it is recommended that you bring a bag. If you are elderly or vulnerable you can inform a member of staff and they will allow you to go to the front of the line so that you are not putting yourself at risk.


The Midwest Simon Community also distributes the food they receive to other distributors such as Tait House and others.


Eleshia Fahy, Head of Operations at Midwest Simon Community said, “Since Covid has hit we have been swamped with people needing to access this service, we have had a lot of people looking for support around as they are experiencing massive food poverty at the moment due to job losses and more. We are always looking for volunteers to help us out at the food banks. Also, any donations you can give are obviously much appreciated, whether it be monetary or even just donating extra food that we can give to the people who come here for help.”


For more info call 061 608 980.


If you would like to donate to the Midwest Simon Community, click HERE


For more stories on Midwest Simon Community, click HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.