A Dublin homeless charity has issued an “urgent” Lenten appeal to protect the future of a Sunday dinner service they provide every week for over 300 vulnerable people.
Increasing numbers of service users and insufficient funding from the State has put pressure on Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI), who are keen to protect the Sunday dinner’s future. The free hot meal is invaluable to many.
The service, which costs over €200,000 a year to run, also provides an opportunity for MQI staff to engage with marginalised individuals and support them with crisis help and referrals. People who come to MQI on a Sunday can also avail of a hot shower, dry clothes and companionship.
Launching the appeal, MQI CEO Paula Byrne said: “MQI has been providing hot meals to Dublin’s homeless for decades. Meeting these basic needs is at the core of what we do. But the demand for our Sunday services is now unprecedented.
“We are now seeing people who have a home, but they can’t afford the heating or the food to cook. We provide a full meal, and our team work to create a family atmosphere. It’s something our clients really appreciate.”
Maura, who avails of the Sunday services, said she has no gas or electricity where she lives. “I come here on Sundays for a hot meal and to have a shower with hot water. I can fill my flask with hot water as well to take home with me,” she said.