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St. Vincent de Paul expects record calls

IT’S the annual appeal – but one that’s probably more pressing this year than ever. The rising cost of energy, rent and transport – not to mention the general increase in food and household items – is putting enormous pressure on some families’ weekly budgets.
The latest Society for St. Vincent de Paul statement forecasts a record number of calls for support this year, with the expectation the figure could reach almost 200,000 by the end of December. It is appealing for help from the public to assist the people who will seek its services.
The society’s national president Rose McGowan said that the country is “facing a perfect storm for families contending with a cost-of-living crisis on multiple fronts”.
“Energy prices are soaring, we are seeing rents rise well beyond what people can afford and increasing transport costs are also putting pressure on low-income households,” Ms. McGowan said.
SVP is “deeply concerned” that over the coming months, “this crisis will come to a head as households are unable to find extra room in the budget for escalating energy costs”.
“In those circumstances they will inevitably turn to SVP for help. Need is the only criteria we apply when people seek our help, but to provide that help we need the generous support of the Irish public that we are seeking through this 2021 annual appeal,” McGowan said.
“We are appealing for donations to be made locally, online or over the phone that will help people through this winter and into the new year.” A Red C poll commissioned by SVP in March found that 43% of Irish people were facing financial pressure due to the pandemic, including loss of income, increased household expenditure on basic needs and erosion of savings to meet ordinary living expenses.
There is, of course, a cruel irony about all this. Figures reveal billions of savings were recorded throughout the state over the past 20 months or so. These savings were largely made by people who had sufficient funds in the first place. Similarly, at a time when major state funding is in the pipeline for people to retrofit their homes to help save the planet it is worth realising a significant segment of the population cannot afford such changes.
One in four people said they had cut back on food and utilities due to the pandemic and almost 10% of tenants said they had fallen behind on their rent.
A contribution to St. Vincent de Paul at this time will ensure your money reaches those most in need in your local community.