The number of children attending the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin for meals is set to exceed 10,000 for the first time this year, compared with 4,300 in 2013.

The centre, which opened in 1969 to give homeless people somewhere to go, currently provides meals to around 900 people a day.

Every Wednesday it distributes more than 1,500 food parcels - five times as many as it did in 2013.

Centre manager Alan Bailey said they have seen a "huge increase in families and the number of children being brought here on a daily basis".

He added: "We stay open until 3.30pm now just so children can come in after school and get a hot meal.

"We have also started to distribute food parcels to children in the evening, just so they can take a hot meal home with them."

Nationally, the number of people living in emergency accommodation has reached a record high, with figures showing 8,374 people accessed emergency accommodation last month.

The figures from the Department of Housing show that 3,124 of these were children.