People go to bed hungry in Ireland every day with one in ten households here experiencing food poverty - being unable to get healthy affordable food.
Around 100,000 children in Ireland live in consistent poverty with many not eating dinner on a regular basis. This is predicted to get worse due to the pandemic, according to research by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
Meal packs, food banks and penny dinners fill this void for many on a daily basis, with a growing need reported since the start of the pandemic. However, this food provision is mostly provided by charities, volunteers and community organisations.
Quality of food can impact people's health but a healthy food basket can cost up to one third of take home pay in low income households, according to research by safefood published in 2019.
Reliance on cheaper processed food can also impact those who rely on food banks, according to researchers in the UK who found some may suffer nutritional deficiency as much of the donated food is processed rather than fresh.
So what exactly is the State doing to stem the rise of food poverty?
HELP US INVESTIGATE
We want to investigate how reliant the charities, volunteers and community organisations who provide food on a daily basis are on food and funding donations for their survival.
We will examine what is being done about food poverty by the Government, especially in light of the worsening situation since Covid-19.
Some have highlighted that food poverty is a symptom of Government policy and the underlying issues such as low income, unemployment and rising food prices, need to be tackled rather than having food banks as a solution. We will explore this by talking to social policy, economic and poverty experts as well as organisations involved in food distribution and people who have been supported by donated meals to find out what path Ireland could take out of this crisis.
Finally, the prevalence of undernourishment in Ireland is 2.5% so we want to look into the types of food available in food banks and other food providers in Ireland, to find out if similar issues to the UK occur here.
Have you any information that you think would help this investigation? Contact us at [email protected]
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