Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin spent over €1.5m on food in 2021

Irish Mirror   25/11/2022 16:29

The Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People in Dublin last year spent €1.525m on food that provided 344,758 meals and food parcels for free to users of the centre.

That is according to the annual report of the busy inner city soup kitchen, which received €6.5m in donations.

This included €910,252 in bequests from deceased person’s wills.

Read More:Ireland's homeless figures rise to over 11,300 in another record high

It comes as the centre, which was set up to feed the city's poor and homeless 50 years ago, says that demand for its services has doubled since the banking collapse in 2008.

This year, the Capuchin Centre made a donation of €4.73m to the Peter McVerry Trust towards the construction of social housing units bringing to €9.73m the centre has made to the Trust over 2021 and 2020.

Last year was the final full year where the operation was overseen by founding CEO, Brother Kevin Crowley.

Brother Kevin Crowley at the Capuchin Day Centre, Dublin

President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to Br Kevin, aged 87 on stepping down from the role in August after over a half a century of service.

Br Kevin received no salary for his role and in the annual report, he states: “While Covid had a big impact on our work in the Centre, because of our steadfast donors and supporters, we are not only surviving the pandemic but despite the gloomy economic forecast, looking forward with confidence to continue caring as we have always done for those who come to our door seeking help.”

The Day Centre is operating for over 50 years and the report states that demand on the centre’s services has more than doubled “since the collapse of the banks in 2008”.

The €1.52 million spend on food at the centre last year was the centre’s biggest outlay.The centre’s next biggest outlay was on staff costs at €1.3m.

The centre’s total income amounted to €6.96m with the bulk made up of donations of €6.5m.

Pope Francis greeting families at the Capuchin Day centre for homeless people in Dublin on August 25, 2018 (Image: AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO)
Metallica donated €35,000 to the Capuchin Day Centre (Picture: All Within My Hands Foundation/Instagram)

The report states that it is worth noting that with only €457,855 statutory funding, the Centre provided over 352,000 units of service during the year.

The report states: “This included meals, food parcels, family supplies, showers, medical service, counselling, advice & advocacy, clothing provision and the many other hospitality and befriending services that we provide.

The report states: “Without doubt the main cost efficiencies have been achieved by maximising use of voluntary resources.”

For over fifty years the Capuchin Order has allocated part of its friary property in Church Street to accommodate the Capuchin Day Centre.

The report states that the Day Centre is provided by the Capuchins without any charge whatsoever and the market rent on such a prime site in the heart of the city centre would be considerable.

The report states: “It should also be noted that the goodwill towards the Capuchin Order is an important factor in counteracting local opposition to such a sensitive project.”

The report also states that the centre receives an estimated 15,000 voluntary hours per annum which supplements the paid staff in the physical operation of the service.

The report states that “despite more than doubling of demand since the collapse of the banks in 2008, there has been only a small increase in paid staff".

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