Helping Rose McGowan, SVP National President, launch the Society’s Annual Appeal are Adam O’Meara and Emily Moylan. Photo: Fennell Photography

1 in 4 cut back on food

Calls for help to the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) will be at their highest level in its history this year and could reach almost 200,000 by the end of December, the charity said this week.

National President Rose McGowan said the fact that the Society has received more calls for help nationally than at any other time in its history and still managed to provide help is testimony to the dedication of its volunteers and staff and the incredible support of the Irish public.

“We are once again appealing to the nation to help us assist the thousands of people who are struggling on inadequate incomes,” she said. The SVP Annual Appeal theme Impossible Choices has again been chosen to reflect what those struggling financially face every day.

Earlier this year, SVP commissioned a RED C Poll to ascertain the financial impact of Covid-19. It found that a significant proportion of Irish society are facing a multitude of financial pressures due to the pandemic.

These include loss of income, increased household expenditure on basics, erosion of savings to meet ordinary living expenses, falling behind on bills and being forced to cut back on essentials like food, heating and electricity.

One-in-four people reported cutting back on food and utilities due to pandemic, and almost one-in-ten tenants reported falling behind on their rent. Rose McGowan said since then the situation for those struggling financially has worsened with massive increases in energy costs and living expenses.

She explained: “We are 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. We are deeply concerned that during 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.”

She added: “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. “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,” she concluded. Visit for ways to donate.