Helping Hand now gives out 50 hampers a month

By Mary Dennehy

A NEW community-based group has been established in Tallaght to help families struggling to feed themselves, with around 50 hampers being delivered to homes monthly.

Launched earlier this month, A Helping Hand has grown from the Christmas Day dinner that is staged in Tallaght Adventure World every December 25 – more than 260 people attended the Christmas dinner last year.

A Helping Hand

One of the hampers from A Helping Hand

Tallaght councillor Dermot Richardson, who helped establish the Christmas Day dinner for the homeless, is behind A Helping Hand, which he hopes to secure charitable status for.

He told The Echo: “Following on from the event that has been held each Christmas Day for homeless individuals and families, I saw the need for a service to help families that need food hampers.

“We now provide food hampers to families in need every two weeks, with around 50 hampers being delivered every month to families in houses and hotels.

“The hampers contain items such as cereals, tins, tea, coffee, sugar, pasta, rice – all of the essentials – and are tailored to the size of each family.

“Families are getting good stuff in the hampers, and items that can cover breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Food poverty in communities

He added: “Families just can’t meet the cost of bills and food . . . there is a lot of food poverty in communities. I believe there is a need for [the Helping Hand].

“Lots of groups are helping rough sleepers, so I feel the need to help families is really important.

“The group has also started to assist people and families who go from a homeless situation to a new home by helping to provide furniture and other household items.”

Cllr Richardson, who wished to thank Layton Kelly from New Hope in Tallaght for his support, said that the aim is to grow Helping Hand into a charity with its own premises, and over time to offer additional supports and advice to families in need.

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Councillor Dermot Richardson

Anybody who would like to volunteer or donate items for the hampers, including local businesses, is invited to contact Cllr Richardson on 087 2036468 or visit A Helping Hand Facebook page.

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