Organisers behind the soup kitchen in Wexford have hit out at the Wexford County Council who have not provided funding for the food kitchen to operate, and instead, have placed further obstacles in the way for it to continue…
Wexford Weekly recently promoted the ‘soup kitchen’ whereby we highlighted how brilliant an initiative it is. In an ideal world, a soup kitchen would not be needed – but for many people in Wexford, they are living in a far from ideal world.
The organisers of the soup kitchen, Wexford People Helping People, have hit out at the Wexford County Council for placing obstacles in their way. One obstacle relates to funding, and another relates to placement of the soup kitchen.
The Wexford People Helping People seek help from local businesses and volunteers to continue operating. Local businesses provide food, materials, drinks, coffee, and everything in between to facilitate its smooth running.
Recently, the Wexford People reported that the soup kitchen was no longer allowed to operate at the ‘Bullring’ and ‘Peters Square’ in Wexford town, despite handing out over 1,000 meals to people in need since its launch three weeks ago.
Wexford People Helping People have issued a strong post on Facebook highlighting the need for funding for such an important issue in our county:
“Hide them away so it doesn’t look like we have a problem with poverty. Just to clarify this is not an issue with the Cllrs – we have had phenomenal support from Cllrs in particular Mayor Leonard Kelly – on this initiative. They have been 100% behind this initiative. It is the civil servants that make the decisions we’re taking issue with. It looks distasteful to have people in need of a hot meal queuing for free food supplied by local businesses and handed out by volunteers on the street – simply because they can’t afford weekly shopping – because their bills are financially crippling them.”
“This initiative will and already has saved lives. The civil servants of Wexford County Council who make the decisions would rather see you and your children starve over having their image tarnished. They put the onus back on local businesses to support us – they advised us to return to ask businesses owners for use of their property. Businesses owners who give so much to us already and who absolutely stretched to capacity and suffering a huge financial blow due to this pandemic The council has a building, land and funding coffers readily available. It isn’t an inability to support – but an unwillingness. We won’t be going away,” a spokesperson for the Wexford volunteer-led organisation stated.
Well-known Wexford activist Raymond Shannon, who is now also a central figure in the Wexford People Helping People community-led volunteer organisation, also shared his thoughts:
“I honestly think Wexford County Council should support and facilitate the soup kitchen rather than throwing obstacles. I think they would be better off helping the citizens of this County of which 1-in 11 people in this County is suffering from, food poverty. They would be better helping the people of this County which they are getting highly paid to do, as they look out from there 60 million council building,” Raymond said.
“If the truth be known it’s all about image with the council. If it’s out of sight then it’s out of mind,” Raymond continued.
Both statements raise some valid points. We would hope that this organisation does receive some funding to continue to operate. The news comes in light of a new ‘Pavillon’ style structure being unanimously approved; it is expected that a grant of €250,000 euro will be used for the creation of the performance structure on Wexford’s quay.
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