The Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin has seen an increase in the numbers using their takeaway service, with more than 2,000 meals distributed every day.
The staff and volunteers have worked hard to fulfil their motto, “no one goes hungry”, as people in need arrive from early in the morning.
“We feed around 200 people in the morning and between 800-900 families at lunchtime every day,” Bro. Kevin Crowley OFM Cap. explained. “As well as that we’re giving out baby food and nappies in the morning, about 300 families need those,” he told The Irish Catholic.
Bro. Kevin said they have seen a significant increase in the number of people coming to them, but they make it a practice not to ask questions.
“There have been quite a number of new faces, but we don’t ask any questions,” he said. “Our main concern is that nobody should go hungry. Our main concern is for the dignity and the respect of each person.
“That’s why we don’t ask any questions – it’s difficult enough coming to a place like ours without getting all sorts of questions.”
Normally, the centre would provide food in the restaurant, but coronavirus restrictions have necessitated some lateral thinking to keep their service going.
“We have a very good staff and a limited number of volunteers,” said Bro. Kevin. “They make up the food, following all the restrictions, and give it out as a takeaway at the door.
“We deliver as well to some families who can’t come for them.”
Some take the food away and some eat it by the centre, but the Capuchins also offer indoor shelter in case of bad weather.
Their church is open for people to sit and eat, with bins for rubbish and regular cleaning in order to keep it disinfected.
“Our superior here was very concerned for the homeless people and opened the church to them,” Bro. Kevin said