The number of homeless families continues to rise in Limerick. In the city, there are more than 70 families experiencing homelessness, with many more hidden homeless or at risk. The Novas campaign has arranged for affected families to have a nutritious and hearty meal in a community café each evening.
Novas campaign seeks the public’s support to address food poverty among homeless families in Limerick
The number of homeless families continues to rise in Limerick. In the city, there are more than 70 families experiencing homelessness, with many more hidden homeless or at risk. Many of these families are living in emergency B&B accommodation. This type of accommodation has no cooking facilities.
The traumas of being homeless are multi-faceted and enduring. For those living in commercial B&B’s, access to basic nutritious food is a challenge. Families often rely on takeaway food for weeks and months on end. It is eaten on laps, sitting on beds, in one room. Parents report that their children are putting on weight, they lack concentration in school and their physical wellbeing is being compromised. Due to the expensive nature of this food provision, families are finding it impossible to save for the expense of moving to a long-term home, thus protracting the length of time they are homeless.
There is an alternative. The Novas campaign has arranged for families to have a nutritious and hearty meal in a community café each evening. A family has the opportunity to eat good food, sitting around a table. It allows a family a break away from one room, in which they play out their lives. It is one less thing to worry about.
Head of Policy and Communications with Novas, Una Burns, describes the initiative as a ‘vital intervention’ to support families who are experiencing homelessness. She says that it helps ‘to bring some normality to an extraordinarily difficult time for families’ and that ‘it affords families the opportunity to save in preparation of a move to more permanent accommodation, a home of their own. Some 80% of families are homeless due to economic factors, this is one burden we can help with. However, we need the support of the public to do this.’
An evening meal in this café costs €4 per child and €4.50 per adult. We need support to continue this vital service. To contribute to the Novas campaign text NOVAS to 50300 to donate €4. You can also donate online. You can set up a monthly direct debit to support us on an ongoing basis. A monthly direct debit of €28 will provide a hearty meal for a child for a week.
Give what you can. #foodpoverty
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