Irish News

Farmers reaching out to poor this Christmas

Farmers are helping families struggling to make ends meet this Christmas, by donating food to a new project run by the social care agency of the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Crosscare recently launched a new initiative called From Farm to Fork, which asks food producers and farmers to donate their excess or Class B stock (misshaped vegetables that don’t make the A grade but are still edible) to new Community Cafes being created throughout Dublin.

Success

“The idea is to bring the community together,” Crosscare’s Michael McDonagh told The Irish Catholic. 

“Our first Community Café opened in Portland Row three weeks ago and has been a great success.

“We offer those visiting the centre a proper menu and it is open to all, both those that can afford to pay and those who cannot. The produce sourced from the farmers is often cooked that day, so we have produce that may have only been harvested that morning being cooked that afternoon,” he said.

Research by Safefood estimates that 10 per cent of people in Ireland are now living in food poverty. Those most at risk include the unemployed, people on low income, families with more than three children aged under 18 and lone parents.

Stigma

“From Farm to Fork removes the stigma of using soup kitchens,” Michael McDonagh said. 

“The Community Cafes have a mark of excellence with real chefs, full menus and the freshest of stock.

“It’s about raising standards and treating people using these centres with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Meanwhile, on hearing of the From Farm to Fork initiative one of Ireland’s top Christmas tree growers, Christy Kavanagh of Kavanagh Real Christmas trees in Wicklow, donated 30 trees to the charity last week which have now been distributed to families across Dublin.