As churches across the island are closed on account of the coronavirus pandemic, the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin now provides takeaway meals only. The Capuchin Friary has witnessed a 25% increase in demand for food parcels in recent weeks and has also opened its church, Saint Mary of the Angels, to provide people space to have their meals. The church is monitored, fumigated and social distancing is observed by all those who receive meals.
Speaking to Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One this morning, Brother Kevin Crowley gave an account of how the day centre is managing to provide its services while adhering to government restrictions. Each day 200 people come to the centre for breakfast and 860 come for dinner, which is 300 more than the Capuchin Friary usually caters for.
They received permission to open Saint Mary of the Angels, Church Street, to provide a place for homeless people to pray and have their meals, and staff keep the church clean and safe. Brother Crowley commended the dignity and respect the homeless people show to staff, and thanked the many staff and volunteers for their tireless work to help the homeless at this time.
Due to Covid-19, many families who usually receive baby food and nappies are unable to come to the centre. With the help of An Garda Síochána and volunteers, baby food and nappies are now being delivered to families in need each week.
Brother Crowley commended the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health simon Harris for their work at this time, and especially thanked nurses, doctors and those working in the health services for their sustained efforts to tackle the virus.