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Minister Smith Announces Distribution of Free Cheese to Help Less Well Off In Society

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today announced that he is to make available, under an EU-funded scheme, a supply of Irish cheese to a number of charities for distribution to those in need this Christmas. Following discussions with a number of charitable organisations, the Minister said he was "particularly pleased to be in a position to make a substantial quantity of Irish cheese available free-of-charge to the less fortunate in society."

The first supplies of cheese will be available from today, in time for distribution before Christmas. Minister Smith described the scheme, which is funded by the European Commission, "as an important and practical means of contributing towards the well-being of the most disadvantaged citizens in the community, particularly at this time of the year."

The Minister acknowledged the excellent work being done by charities to support the less fortunate in society, particularly given the very difficult economic circumstances and commended those whom he described as "working on the frontline to bring what comfort and relief they can to those in need, especially as the Christmas season approaches. I am glad to be able to help their work in such a practical way."

Note for Editors:

Under the EU scheme, for which nineteen Member States have applied, Ireland's share is approximately €812,000. The total amount of cheese that will be distributed, under this year's plan to Irish charities will be in the region of 165 tonnes.

The first tranche of the cheese, which is in 12 x 1kg boxes, is available in from

  • VF Coldstore in Finglas, Dublin Orchard Store;
  • Cobh Cross Cork;
  • and QK Coldstore, Carrolls Cross, Kilmacthomas, Waterford

from today (7th December 2009) with minimum of 1 box per collection. Permits are now being issued to applicants to facilitate collection.

For any further information on the scheme and application forms, charities should contact

Carol Roche,
Intervention Operations,
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food,
Johnstown Castle,
Wexford

Tel: 053-9163400 ext 3044

Email: carol.roche@agriculture.gov.ie  

Date Released: 07 December 2009