FEAD - The Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived

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New programme 2014-2020 for the most deprived persons in Europe


What is FEAD?

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is the designated managing authority for the Operational Programme (OP) for the Fund for European Aid (FEAD) to the most deprived who will have responsibility for the implementation of the programme in Ireland.  

Who will FEAD be targeted at?

FEAD support will help people take their first steps out of poverty and social exclusion. The FEAD will help the most deprived people by addressing one of their most basic needs i.e. food and non-food  for personal use e.g. sleeping bags, shampoo and other items for personal use, which is a precondition for them to be able to get a job or follow a training course.

What resources are available?

FEAD Ireland will be funded by some €22m of European funding and €4m of Irish exchequer funding totalling some 26.7m for the period 2014-2020.

Sixty-five per cent (65%) of available resources will be applied to the provision of food and thirty five per cent (35%) to the provision of basic material assistance e.g. sleeping bags, personal need items such as shampoo, shower gel etc.

Accompanying measures funding will also be available to a maximum of 5% of the value of food or non-food items purchased.

Focus of OP

The focus of the fund will be on those on the margins of society and in need of essential supports.  Effectively, the OP will target

  • homeless persons including long-term rough sleepers
  • children in low income/work intensity households
  • victims of domestic violence in refuges and shelters
  • person suffering or recovering from addictions
  • certain members of the Roma and Traveller communities
  • vulnerable persons transitioning to independent living from emergency accommodation, institutionalized care settings or places of detention
  • any person without income, accommodation or means not otherwise defined above.


As information becomes available this site will be updated.


National availability of food – Primary Operation

The focus of this operation will be on those on the margins of society in need of essential food support.  It will ensure a reliable supply of food to the charitable sector over the life of the FEAD Programme, with approved organisations collecting food produce from three regional hubs in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

Food will be made available to all eligible organisations from an approved food schedule compiled by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection following consultation with the charitable sector. The food items consist of basic, non-perishable foods which are easy to transport and store.

To access this operation an organisation should send the following form to fead@welfare.ie

The following is the process for organisations joining the operation for the national availability of food. 

In addition to this operation Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will accept FEAD applications for other food and basic material assistance operations (applications can be made on the following form)


Last modified:08/10/2019

 Application Form


​FEAD Application Form (PDF)

Appeals Process
If you are not happy with the decision on your application for the FEAD programme you can submit an appeal in writing to

Please note if using Internet Explorer, when you are downloading the application form in Word format you may receive a Windows Security dialogue box. Please click cancel each time this box displays and the document will open.

 Frequently Asked Questions


 Related Documents


 Where can I get more information?

Fund for the Economic Aid to the most Deprived is administered by:
FEAD Managing Authority Ireland, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection,
Social Welfare Services Office, College Road,
Any enquiries regarding this programme can be e-mailed to FEAD@welfare.ie