A rural local development company in Cavan is hoping a food bank initiative will be rolled out across the country.
As local authorities take the lead in co-ordinating a community response to the Covid-19 crisis, a programme operating at St Bricin's College in Belturbet which helps disadvantaged families has been taken over and expanded to other towns in the county.
Local food producers have come on board, as well as Tesco, which has been working with St Bricin's as part of the food cloud initiative.
Mary Sheridan, Principal St Bricin's College, said that when the school closed, they decided to donate the food to other people in need.
"We sent a text out to all our parents to see if there was anybody they could identify that we could distribute food hampers to and it has just grown from there" she said.
The Civil Defence and the Gardai are involved and are delivering food hampers to hard-pressed families and older people who are now cocooning.
We are very grateful to Chef Eoin & Chef Richard @CorrigansFood for the fabulous donation of premium fresh produce @GooseberryFarm @VPLodge @FoodCloud Local Food producers are so generous in supporting Cavan community @YourBelturbet #FoodHubCavan @Breffniint @cavancoco #Heroes❤️ pic.twitter.com/jSjLIjnIYu— Mary Sheridan (@marysheridan8) March 29, 2020
82-year-old Rose McDonald was among those who had a hamper of food delivered.
"It's lovely to think people out there are thinking about you and organising and helping. It's wonderful" she said.
While she misses her family, Rose said she's trying to remain positive.
"There were days I was going around with my dressing gown on me but I said 'No I'm not going to do that. I decided I'm going to dress myself fairly good'", she said. "You can get into a lazy way and not bother but I said no."
Rose believes that the community spirit being shown around the country will bring people closer again.
"I think it will bring us closer together, I'm hoping it will be over, if everyone would do what they're asked to do" she said.
Eight food hubs have now been set up across Cavan and more are expected to come on stream.
Cavan Local Development Company CEO Terry Hyland said that because of the ongoing job losses as a result of the outbreak along with consistent poverty, there is a need to ensure people do not hungry at this difficult time.