LIMERICK homeless children’s health is being compromised as families forced into emergency B&B accommodation are relying on take-away food for months.
That is according to Novas homeless services, which has launched a fundraising campaign to provide nutritious and healthy meals to dozens of families every day.
There are now more than 70 families experiencing homelessness in Limerick city, and “many more hidden homeless or at risk”.
Novas said it needs support to continue its daily community cafe, where an evening meal in costs €4 per child and €4.50 per adult.
People are asked to text NOVAS to 50300 to donate €4, or to visit the Novas website to contribute more.
People can also provide a monthly direct debit of €28, which will provide “a hearty meal for a child for a week”.
“The traumas of being homeless are multi-faceted and enduring. For those living in commercial B&B's, access to basic nutritious food is a challenge. Families often rely on take-away food for weeks and months on end. It is eaten on laps, sitting on beds, in one room.
“Parents report that their children are putting on weight, they lack concentration in school and their physical wellbeing is being compromised. Due to the expensive nature of this food provision, families are finding it impossible to save for the expense of moving to a long-term home, thus protracting the length of time they are homeless,” Novas said this Monday.
Una Burns, Novas’ head of policy and communications, said that the campaign is a “vital intervention” to support families enduring homelessness in Limerick.
“It affords families the opportunity to save in preparation of a move to more permanent accommodation, a home of their own. Some 80% of families are homeless due to economic factors, this is one burden we can help with. However, we need the support of the public to do this,” she said.