‘Most Deprived’ fund of €3m will take up job of supplying food to needy in Ireland

An EU scheme distributing food to the needy through the Department of Agriculture has been discontinued, but will be replaced by the EU’s Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, which will be administered by the Department of Social Protection.

The Most Deprived Scheme was managed by the Department of Agriculture, and participation had steadily increased since 2007, says Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney.

“Over the period 2007 to 2014, some €5m worth of product has been distributed in 1.8m individual parcels to those most-in-need.

“The 563 charities who participated in the scheme this year availed of cheese, rice and butter.”

Reponding to a Dáil question from Socialist Party TD for Dublin West, Joe Higgins, Mr Coveney said: “The scheme, in its current form, has now been discontinued, as, and from, June this year.

“The rationale of linking the scheme with intervention stocks is no longer valid, as there has been no surplus product bought into intervention for the last number of years.

“However, in March, 2014, the European Council and Parliament agreed a regulation to introduce a new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) to support the provision of food and consumer products to those most in need.

“The fund will contribute to the reduction of poverty by supporting national schemes that provide non-financial assistance to alleviate food and severe material deprivation.”

He said the Department of Social Protection had commenced development of the new programme.

Tanaiste and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton said the programme will go operational later this year, and will be worth €3m per annum in Ireland, supporting voluntary organisations and other bodies working with, and providing services to, those most in need.

The regulation governing operation of the fund allows for food, and non-food, consumable goods to be distributed to persons who are most disadvantaged.


Lifestyle

Hannah Stephenson seeks expert advice on how we can dig into the benefits nature offers our wellbeing.How to grow your own mindfulness comfort zone

Kerry was my first taste of freedom. My parents left me with my aunty from the age of nine. My son is nine now, but the Irish college is gone, the shop is closed, and the once bustling church looks sad, like a forgotten song.Secret Diary of an Irish Teacher: a nostalgic night in Kerry

Posh Cork's agony aunt: sorting out Cork people for ages.Ask Audrey: Why aren't William and Kate coming to Cork?

Festival season approaches, legends come to the Opera House, and a young Irish phenomenon continues to impact on UK telly, writes Arts Editor Des O'Driscoll.Scene and Heard: 'the major voice of a generation'

More From The Irish Examiner