Soup kitchen under fire for manner of fundraisingOctober 30, 2012 - 8:15am
BY DENISE MCNAMARA
The legitimacy of bucket collections for a soup kitchen on the Docks area has again been questioned, this time by a councillor.
Named after the infamous Dickens character, Twist is the kitchen set up to provide a free hot dinner to those who cannot afford it on Queen Street.
Operated by Athenry man Oliver Williams and a host of volunteers, it is feeding an average of 80 people a day since its inception during the Volvo Ocean Race.
Despite its apparent good work in feeding the needy, the bucket collections have raised the ire of charities operating in the city who complain that Twist is not following the regulations.
Independent Cllr Donal Lyons has now added his voice to a growing chorus of disapproval about the collections, which he says are becoming a nuisance.
“I’m not trying to take away from the work they’re doing, but I am involved with a number of charities and all these organisations have to go through a lot of hoops in order to get permits to have church gate collections and door-to-door collections,” he explained.
“This organisation does not have a collection permit yet the public are being harassed on a daily basis by three or four people with their buckets and it’s rubbing people’s noses up the wrong way.”
But Mr Williams stressed that what he and his volunteer collectors are doing is “100% legal”. “I operate under the 1995 Casual Trading Act which allows me to sell emblems, which is what we are doing. Anyone who donates is given a pen with Twist written on it. It is the only fundraising we do as we get free food from a number of companies,” he said.
The food is free to those who cannot afford it. Those who can pay are asked for a donation. All the produce is donated by local businesses, while operating costs are met by the fundraisers.
For more on this story, see The Sentinel.