Today, Dublin Bus employees delivered goods valued at over €10,000 to the Capuchin Day Centre, in what has become their annual Christmas Food Drive Appeal. Since 2012, employees have donated over €50,000 worth of goods to the centre.
The Capuchin Day Centre began its services to the homeless in 1969 and has strived through the years to provide food, shelter, clothing, and support those less fortunate. However, the centre find that their services are put under severe pressure during the winter months as large numbers of homeless and struggling people find themselves helpless against deteriorating weather conditions. Heavy rainfall, freezing temperatures and gale force winds make this an extremely challenging time for homeless people.
Latest figures show that the centre provides 250 breakfasts each day with 400 extra on a Wednesday and dinner service is rarely less than 480. Founding member of the centre, Brother Kevin Crowley, has said that, “the greatest challenge both physically and financially is to help the increased number of people who need food parcels”. At present 1,800 people need food parcels each week to feed their families. This difficult but inevitable situation was enough to motivate the socially aware within Dublin Bus to run the ‘Christmas Food Drive Appeal’ again towards the end of 2015.
Procurement Manager, Chris Quinlan initially set up the appeal, when he recognised a person in the queue for the centre on a television programme. It struck Chris that anyone could be in the same situation and this encouraged him to do something to help. He created a team of eager volunteers from various departments and locations across the company and initiated the first successful drive.
Chris explained that, “since 2012 the efforts of our colleagues throughout all departments within Dublin Bus have provided much needed tangible assistance to the Capuchin Day Centre. The many donations received throughout December each year have enabled us to supply additional provisions for use in the centre’s kitchen, or in the food parcels they prepare every week, and also to provide personal hygiene products for use in the shower facilities. The response from our colleagues has been overwhelming, and shows that there is still a strong sense of community at work within the city”.
The drive took place from October to December and the aim was simple. The team asked that Dublin Bus employees add one or more non-perishable goods to their shopping that they then donate to the food drive. Each department and depot collected different items from toothpaste to baby food. This ensured that the best variety of food parcels could be donated to the centre. This year’s drive was such a success that Dublin Bus, on the approval of the Capuchin Day Centre, extended the campaign through December. On January 11 2015, the goods were delivered to the centre where they were gratefully received.