Mark Ward TD has called for an immediate response from the Government after hearing at a recent Children’s committee meeting on child poverty that parents are accessing a local food bank because they have had to access private life changing therapies for their children because the public waiting lists are so long.
Teachta Ward said: “The Clondalkin Cares Foodbank do fantastic work and in the past two years, they have engaged with over 3,000 people, half of whom were aged under 18. They currently support about 500 people on a regular basis with food supplies. “There are many reasons why families are accessing food support in my area including the increase in the cost of living and the changes in income since the pandemic.
“We heard from Karin Jonsson who runs the Clondalkin Cares food bank at a recent Children’s committee meeting on child poverty that parents are accessing the local food bank because they have had to pay for private life changing therapies for their children because the public waiting lists are so long. “Some 17% of people cite that the reason that they have to access the foodbank to feed their families is increased health costs including having to pay for a private assessment of needs, speech and language therapy and psychology as the waiting lists are endless.
“At present there are over 71,000 children on public waiting lists for life changing treatments such as occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, dietetics and psychology. Some 19,000 children are waiting over a year for an appointment. “Children have a right to be given every chance to reach their full potential and parents should not have to make a choice between feeding their family and health care for their children.