PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Typically around this time of year, donations to non-profits start to dwindle after the holiday season and that’s no exception for Sophia’s Kitchen in Peoria.
“We’ve had a very large increase in our need right now. So instead of feeding 50 people in our pantry each week, our numbers are up to about 100,” said Program Director of Sophia’s Kitchen Claire Crone.
An increase in the need for food in the area means a need for increased donations. Leaders from the pantry are asking for the community’s help in getting the assistance needed for the food insecure.
“If you can’t go shopping and don’t want to drop anything off, sending a donation in, and that can be done online, is also helpful,” said Patti Stockert, a regular volunteer at the food pantry.
The pantry is in need of everything from toiletries like feminine products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and toilet paper to canned goods. Specifically chili beans, canned meats, canned vegetables, and canned fruit.
“Right after Christmas, everybody’s busy with everything else, and we kind of get a little bit forgotten,” said Crone. “But our need has gone up so much this January.”
The lack of donations coming in affects how volunteers at the pantry can help the people who need it.
“We make sure that everybody gets taken care of with something. Though I did have someone call for extra food yesterday, I wasn’t able to fulfill that,” said Crone.
For those who may need to utilize Sophia’s Kitchen, there are no requirements to get a meal. They don’t ask for proof of income or proof of residency. As long as people come hungry, volunteers will make sure they get fed.
For those who have the ability to donate: “This operates every day, every week of the year. And so donations constantly through the year are really well accepted,” said volunteer Scott Boerke.
Sophia’s Kitchen will be closed for two weeks undergoing H-VAC renovations. However, in honor of the program director’s nephew who passed away last week and worked at Sherman’s Warehouse, the company is donating 10,000 snack packs that will be handed out at the pantry while they are closed.
To donate, click here.