Diners cannot eat at the Penny Dinners soup kitchen in Cork today (Saturday), but “The Little Miracle on Hanover Street” will meet the Covid challenge with the charity feeding another 700 people on Christmas Day.
The powerhouse behind Penny Dinners, Caitriona Twomey, will host a Christmas dinner service outside the soup kitchen, while meals will also be delivered to those in need across town and county.
Dinner was provided by the neighboring River Lee Hotel with turkey, ham and all the toppings offered today. The High Hopes choir will sing alongside Hank Wedel and a Christmas tree has been moved to the street. Santa Claus also arrives from Kent station on the “Polar Express”.
Ms Twomey says the support from the people of Cork and beyond is “absolutely incredible”.
“This is what keeps us going, so we are able to help others. It is a difficult time. The demand is fierce. Professionals in the hotel industry, taxis, etc. are pinned to their collar.
Ordinary hard working people are in dire straits now, so we call on the government to do it right. It shouldn’t happen.
Mental health is enormous and has gone out the window. The government must tackle the conditions in which people live. Some people don’t have a home at all. The hotels B and B guesthouses.
It was all watched. The money could be spent on homes for the life of these people. We’re not supposed to be a third world country, but there is hunger in Ireland. “
Ms. Twomey emphasizes that she is encouraged by the support of young and old.
“We had a wife the other day and she was 94 and she insisted on coming herself. It’s nice to see all the same people coming back to support us. Young children are coming too.”
In the past few days, volunteers have made baskets in the warehouse and “jeeps and cars” have been on the road to distribute them.
Cork City’s missing, retired Army and Navy veterans and Guardians have all dropped off baskets for those in need on behalf of the soup kitchen.
Ms Twomey says she appreciates so much the “fleet of drivers” who are dropping off hot dishes today.
“We have a huge roster and a large fleet of drivers to keep the dinners hot for people. We are equipped. We are ready. Every volunteer works around the clock. I am impressed with all of them. They go on top of it. and beyond. This year we had to shoot for the stars on this one because it was so difficult. The demand is insane. “
Penny Dinners isn’t just about providing a meal. It offers vulnerable and needy people a warm and comfortable place to eat and have company to fill their often dark days on the streets.
For more information on how to donate, visit corkpennydinners.ie.
To receive the latest news straight to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter