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Calls for more Killarney businesses to support foodbank charity

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DELIVERING FOOD: Food Share Kerry's van driver and warehouse coordinator Brian McCannon prepares a delivery for Killarney on Tuesday.

By Sean Moriarty

A Tralee-based surplus food distribution charity - which has experienced unprecedented demand for its service in recent weeks - is calling on more Killarney based businesses to support its scheme during the current crisis.

Food Share Kerry, who act as a foodbank and supply depot where the food products are stored, sorted, graded and distributed to frontline agencies such as Ballyspillane Family Resource Centre and the Killarney branch of St Vincent de Paul, provides a link between producers of surplus food and charities that specialise in combating food poverty.

However, although it's experiencing a three fold rise in its service due to the increase in the number of people needing help - this has been hindered by the number of hotels and cafes that are now closed - which would usually donate excess food.

Fundraising efforts like street collections are also no longer possible because of COVID-19 imposed restrictions.

Depot manager, Courtney Sheehy, says demand has increased but the lack of donations is widening the gap every day.

The only retail outlets in Killarney currently supporting the scheme are the two Dealz branches on High Street and at Deerpark Shopping Centre, and she is appealing for more local outlets to get involved.

“Without the support we are not able to meet the demand,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “People have lost their jobs or they are cocooning and they need us more than ever. We coordinate food distribution in Tralee and run regular deliveries to Killarney where we hand over to groups on the ground who will have a better understanding of what is needed and where in their community, but we need to bridge the gap between donations and what we distribute."

Food Share Kerry has set up a fundraiser with a €2,000 goal via GoFundMe: COVID-19 Response: We need your support!

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County Board open to GAA museum proposals

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.

There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.

Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.

His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.

Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.

However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.

“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”

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Loreto pupils are happy to help save the planet

By Michelle Crean School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign. Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme. It’s all about taking on […]

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By Michelle Crean

School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign.

Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme.

It’s all about taking on a litter-picking adventure in their local area as well as learning songs, reading storybooks, filling in activity books while witnessing that their real-world actions are making a positive difference and inspiring others to join the movement.

Picker Pals is a unique primary school programme that gives children the tools and motivation to become the next generation of environmentalists, teacher Claire O’Meara explained.

“The Picker Pal Programme is a fantastic initiative and will go a long way to raise awareness of the impact litter has on our environment,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

Real litter-picking is motivated by a Picker Pack made from upcycled dinghy sails and containing adult and child litter-picking tools, gloves, hi-vis vests and safety information.

“This pack is then taken home by a different pupil every week. That child takes their adult on a litter-picking adventure. The children then tell the story of their litter-picking adventures through art and writing. Raising awareness is an essential part of the solution to littering. Picker Pals gives young people the tools and positive motivation to steward their local environment and make the world a better place.”

The programme, run by environmental NGO VOICE Ireland, is funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and various local authorities across Ireland.

Now in its third year of operation, over one thousand schools all across Ireland will be taking part in the Picker Pals programme this year. In Kerry, 29 schools are taking part, and Scoil Bhríde, Loreto is delighted to be included, she added.

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