Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Rural and Community Development
Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
19. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the resources that have been allocated to support a programme (details supplied) throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43167/20]
Meals on Wheels organisations make an invaluable contribution to community life in Ireland and have supported many vulnerable individuals during the pandemic.
My Department provided a range of supports in 2020 which Meals on Wheels organisations could avail of to fund different aspects of their work. Some of the supports announced include:
- In June, the Department launched the Community Enhancement Programme with funding of €2m available. In August, a separate €5m capital fund under the same Programme for community groups was announced. While these are now closed it is planned to run the programme again in 2021.
- On November 20th , I announced funding of €340,000, under the CLÁR Programme, for 45 successful projects under Measure 3(a) - Meals on Wheels and linked services. This funding enables these organisations to purchase equipment and make adaptations to existing vehicles to support the provision of their services.
- The Community Services Programme (CSP)continues to support over 420 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model, some of which provide a Meals on Wheels service. During the COVID-19 crisis my Department developed a €4.75m Support Fund to assist CSP-supported organisations retain their CSP-supported employees on their payroll and also provides assistance for the Employers PRSI contribution, during this crisis period and until April 2021.
- My Department also recently launched a €1.7m COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which these and other groups can apply for. Further details are available from the Local Community Development Committees that administer this fund locally. This follows on from a previous €2.5m round of this fund which focussed on groups involved in the Community Call initiative, such as Meals on Wheels organisations.