Families across the Dundalk, Galway, Wicklow, Kildare, Drogheda, North & South Dublin, Limerick, Cavan, Monaghan, Midlands areas struggling with the cost-of-living crisis have been given a welcome boost thanks to the support of local charity Extern and the Children’s Rights Alliance (CRA).

Generous funding of over €23,000 from the CRA – which changes the lives of children in Ireland by making sure that their rights are respected and protected – has enabled Extern to purchase supermarket vouchers to distribute to families across Ireland who are facing acute need for help with buying the basics.

To date over 210 families who are currently supported by Extern across the country - including at least 530 children and young people - have benefitted from the vouchers, which have enabled them to put food on the table in the face of spiralling costs over the past year. This includes families in the Dundalk area who are currently engaged with Extern’s projects locally.

Extern Manager Clare O’Connor said: “This generous funding from the Children’s Rights Alliance has had a hugely positive impact on the families we work with, many of whom might otherwise find it hard to ask for help."

"With the cost-of-living crisis hitting many households hard some of the families we work with are not able to make ends meet, so when these vouchers were distributed they were received with genuine gratitude and appreciation at being able to provide this most basic of needs."

“Among those we have been able to support are one mum who had been left without any way to pay for food or utility bills after her household money was stolen. We were able to provide her with enough vouchers to buy food for her family and help her to get back on her feet. Just being able to cook for her children and provide a nutritious meal gave her renewed hope, and helped to strengthen the family bond.”

Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said: “With the generous support of the Bank of Ireland and Community Foundation Ireland, the Children’s Rights Alliance coordinated a food provision scheme through our member organisations, that sought to support the children and families most in need. Working with Extern, we were able to do just that.

“For children living in poverty, even the basic essentials can be out of reach. With the rising cost of living, families are increasingly being put under constant pressure to provide nutritious meals while also paying the rent or the bills."

"Food poverty is a very real and present problem during this time, and it can have a detrimental impact on children and young people. Limited access to food has a knock-on impact on a child’s health and physical development and further to this, it can impact their ability to engage in education or participate in afterschool activities."

“Without the basic essentials, day to day life is an uphill battle for children and families. The Food Provision Scheme helped to alleviate at least one of these pressures.”