PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (WMBD) — The St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Peoria Heights turns its ministry right back into the community in which it serves.

The village’s food pantry manager connects full carts with full hearts.

“All of the volunteers here [agree] it’s just a joyful feeling to know that we are able to help serve people’s needs, their basic needs,” said Food Pantry Manager Diana Janda.

It’s the mission of a local food pantry in Peoria Heights inside the gym of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church on Lake Avenue.

The pantry offers fresh foods, produce, and nonperishable items every Monday and Thursday throughout the year.

“Now because of inflation, I think more people are coming in,” said Janda.

Parish volunteers help pack grocery bags and carts while guests shop for items they specifically need.

Janda said it’s heartwarming to help about 120 families a month.

“They leave here with a giant cart full of food,” said Janda. “We’re very blessed to be able to get food from Peoria Area Food Bank, Midwest Food Bank, and our parishioners are very generous.”

The food pantry is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. It’s closed on holidays.

The food pantry is funded through parish collections and through contributions made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

If you are interested and available to help please call or email Diana Janda at or 842-9088.

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