Burgers should be 'offered' to charity
A leading figure with the St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has said he believed the beef burgers withdrawn due to in the horse meat controversy could be properly labelled and resold or offered to charities to help families whom he believes would be grateful for the food.
Speaking in a personal capacity, regional vice president of the SVP in Cork, Brendan Dempsey said he believed many charities including the St Vincent De Paul would be willing to take the withdrawn burgers and offer them to people in need who would be grateful for them.
"I think it’s sinful to see good food going to waste and these burgers could be offered to various charities once they meet the required food safety standards which we are told is not an issue with them," he said
"People could be told what exactly they are being offered in terms of the possibility that the burgers contain horse meat and if people are happy to accept them, then they should be given to them," he said.
Mr Dempsey said he believed many families would happily accept the withdrawn burgers while he also believed that many of the 4,000 students still waiting for their maintenance grants would similarly be willing to accept them.
"There was a survey published today saying many people are left with just €50 euros at the end of the month - I don’t worry about the people with €50 euro in their pocket, I worry about those who are minus €50 euro and more at the end of the month.
"I think a lot of those people, people who really have their backs against the wall, would happily accept the offer of free food such as these burgers once they know that they’re safe and what exactly it is they’re being offered."
IN a statement the SVP said it "does not advocate re-distribution to charities of withdrawn beef burgers".
Mr Dempsey's views were "provided as a personal view and do not represent the views of the Society nationally," it said.
"Food poverty is an important issue and one which the SVP has actively sought to highlight. But the SVP nationally does not ask for the distribution of the beef burgers withdrawn from sale to be directed to charities. We do not believe that it is a feasible option in terms of the nature of the product or the logistics in its redistribution," it said.