Soup kitchens planning to cater for at least 100 people

Mon, Dec 24, 2012, 00:00

Soup kitchens in the west and midlands will provide Christmas dinners to at least 100 people tomorrow.

Ollie Williams from Athenry, Co Galway, said he has 70 people booked in for a three-course meal at his soup kitchen in Galway, while over 30 have already requested dinner at a similar facility in Athlone.

He said: “Christmas Day is our most important day of the year. We’ve 70 people booked in in Galway at this stage and 32 in Athlone, and that could increase. Our mission is to give them a special day and everything they’d expect from a happy family home. “It’s going to be a great day and I’ve been given great support from local traders, including the butchers who’ve given me plenty of fine steaks.”

Mr Williams, a certified cook who spends most days in his soup kitchens preparing meals, said he fears the presence of Dickensian-style soup kitchens will become more and more common across the country in the future, as more households are plunged into debt.

In the past two months the 46-year-old father-of-two opened soup kitchens in Athlone and Roscommon town and he now plans to launch two new centres in Dublin and Tullamore.