9 July 2020
By Tom Collins
Eoin McCuirc , Chair of Cork Simon Community and Siobhán O’Dowd, Co-ordinator of Ballyphehane Togher CDP have been Cork City’s Community Champions during Covid 19, a national programme co-ordinated by Irish Rural Link and The Wheel. They were part of the Government’s Community Call and Cork City Council’s Community Response Forum.
Eoin and Siobhán’s job was to ensure that people could link to the supports and services they needed and food was quickly identified as a vital issue for those cocooning or experiencing financial difficulty during Covid. Three Cork Food charities were absolutely amazing in helping the city to provide this support and as Eoin explains “ We estimate that between them Feed Cork, Penny Dinners and St Vincent de Paul have distributed over 10,000 food boxes to individuals and families across the city during the last three months. This enabled people to remain safely at home and supported those experiencing food poverty by providing kitchen cupboard essentials and the ingredients for a variety of meals”.
As the community champions programme draws to a close Siobhán said “we recognize that these three great Cork charities will continue to help individuals and families needing food support. We had some programme funding remaining and decided that it should be donated to Feed Cork, Penny Dinners and St Vincent de Paul to help them with their future work” .
On behalf of Eoin and myself it was a real privilege to visit and present cheques for €1,000 each to Sharon Mullins of Feed Cork, Catriona Twomey of Penny Dinners and Brendan Dempsey of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. These organisations and their volunteers have been brilliant champions during Covid 19”.