Ireland is mostly known for its lush greens, beautiful castles and vibrant culture. However, hunger in Ireland is a persistent problem that is not often discussed. While the Great Famine in the 1800s comes to mind for those thinking of Ireland’s hunger crisis, it is imperative to note that hunger still exists in the nation. Here are three things to know about hunger in Ireland.
3 Things to Know About Hunger in Ireland
- In Ireland, 2.50% of the population lives in hunger. Though this is a small percentage, there hasn’t been a decrease for at least 20 years. While it is a good sign that hunger has not grown in the country, this number suggests that there still is a portion of the population struggling to access food. Unfortunately, living in a first-world country, issues such as hunger are not always prioritized.
- Poverty rates in Ireland are still high. In 2019, there were more than 680,000 people living in hunger. About 200,000 of that number were children. Poverty and hunger often go hand-in-hand; it can be extremely difficult for the impoverished to provide food for themselves and their families. Addressing hunger in Ireland, therefore, will also require poverty reduction efforts.
- COVID-19 in Ireland: COVID-19 cases in Ireland skyrocketed and peaked in mid-April, but are slowly trending upward today. Due to the nature of the virus, everyone can be affected, but even more so if a person is unable to find proper protection and care to try to stave off the virus. Due to this, health problems are a concern. This issue can be linked to the poverty levels, in turn leading to more hunger as those affected are trying to pay for medical bills and the necessities that come with proper medical care. It is still not clear if poverty and hunger in Ireland can be inextricably linked to the coronavirus. However, with trends around the world showing this is the case, it is simply food for thought.
One organization that has raised the bar in helping those in poverty throughout the country is Turn2us. This organization focuses specifically on the financially needy in Ireland and looks to help those people in multiple ways. Their current campaign is called #LivingWithout. While poverty and hunger often calls to mind a country in the depths of financial despair, helping those in need in a modern country may look very different. #LivingWithout was made specifically to help families or individuals in Ireland to obtain the necessary household appliances that are needed to function well each day.
Turn2us focuses specifically on welfare benefits, charitable grants and other support in order to uplift countless lives. Their focus on practical programs, like #LivingWithout, shows that poverty in a modern setting needs much different help than a developing country. The strategy differs, and Turn2us highlights this fact by targeting the UK and its citizens.
During a time of such need around the world, it is important to look at even the most developed places for signs of hunger and needed aid. In order to see a downfall in the 2.50% hunger rate in Ireland, it is necessary to bring awareness around the subject.
– Natalie Belford