Volunteers are making packed lunches and distributing them on the streets after several mothers contacted a Dublin soup run.

The Friends Helping Friends group said it was providing around 25 packed lunches every Tuesday and Saturday, with many going to families with children.

"We noticed a huge increase in mammies coming up to us and saying, 'can we take a bit of fruit, can we take some sandwiches for the lunches in the morning?' It makes me very angry. Children shouldn't be coming to a soup run to pick up their lunch for school," said Glenda Harrington of Friends Helping Friends.

In a statement, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) said it was "committed to its aim of providing safe and effective service provision to persons experiencing homelessness".

"The DRHE and the four Dublin local authorities currently provide emergency accommodation for circa 4,312 adults, which includes 1,280 families across the Dublin region.

"All emergency accommodation facilities operated by both private providers and NGOs provide service users with food. All family hubs provide cooking facilities or provide meals for all families that reside in them.

"All private emergency accommodation operators provide food on a daily basis, many offer hot meals. Families residing in commercial hotels are accommodated on a bed and breakfast basis," added the statement.

Ms Harrington said she was aware that homeless families receive school lunches.

"I have had this argument with people before that they get school lunches. But it’s not enough. It doesn’t hold them."

The homeless charity, Focus Ireland, said it was "awful" that some families were using soup runs. 

It said: "The very fact some parents who are homeless have to bring their children out at night to get food from soup runs on the streets shows how terrible the crisis has become.

"Being homeless is bad enough without this additional stress of worrying how and where you can feed your children."