FILE PHOTO: The HSE has confirmed the production of hot food on campus has been discontinued
The canteen in SOS Kilkenny’s Callan Road facility has ceased to provide a hot meal to service users there, following a reconfiguring of catering services.
The canteen remains open in a self-catered capacity. Following enquiries from the Kilkenny People the HSE, which provides support to SOS through funding grants, confirmed the situation.
“The HSE understands that SOS in Kilkenny recently re-configured their catering services, in consultation with all stakeholders,” says a statement.
“As a result, the production of hot food on campus has been discontinued and the canteen facilities there are of a self-catering nature. The local Meals on Wheels services are now linked in with those who wish to have a hot meal when they return home.”
CEO of SOS Kilkenny Francis Coughlan has said that the canteen, while no longer serving hot meals, will remain open. He added that if people wished to bring in food, microwave facilities, as well as tea/coffee facilities, remain available, and that ‘nobody will be without’.
Local councillor Patrick McKee has said it is important the appropriate services are maintained to best suit the needs of all.
“SOS has provided a fantastic service to those who need its help, and I commend the SOS staff and volunteers for their ongoing commitment,” he said.
“I will be visiting the facility this week to see the situation and meet staff and service users. I hope the excellent quality of service will not be downgraded, and that adequate funding is provided to SOS.”
Local TD Bobby Aylward recently raised the problems faced by Section 39 agencies, including SOS, in the Dáil. He said they faced ‘serious dilemmas on the ground’ due to financial pressures and a lack of restoration following cutbacks.
“We must enable Section 39 agencies to be able to pay and look after their staff,” he said.