A Publication of WTVP

Community Impact

As a mission of the Heart of Peoria Catholic Community, Sophia’s Kitchen believes in providing nourishment to those most in need through food for the day, support for their health needs, and spiritual guidance for their everlasting souls.

Sophia’s Kitchen is dedicated to serving the whole person with dignity. Our guests come to us hungry—both in body and often in spirit. We serve them meals filled with as much nutrition as possible to nourish their bodies.

Priests, Sisters, deacons and lay people are available every day to tend to their spiritual needs. Our dining area, the Spiritual Center, is a place of peace and calmness where they can safely eat their meals and be exposed to Christ’s love. We also host nurses, health fairs and other community events to attend to their physical needs. We hope to bring them not just food, but also joy and a feeling of community and belonging.

Sophia’s Kitchen provides sack lunches Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm to anyone in need. We also provide a monthly food pantry and offer dog and cat food twice a month. Our parish nurse comes twice a week to provide basic healthcare and advice, with the OSF Care-A-Van coming monthly. In God’s great abundance, Sophia’s Kitchen has more than enough food to ensure no one goes hungry.

Food Pantry
In addition to daily lunches, there is still enough food to pack grocery bags to take home. The pantry is stocked with fresh supplies at the end of each serving day, and by generous parishioners and others as they can.

On the last Friday of every month from 1 to 3pm, Sr. Merlinda sets up a little store, filling tables with groceries. About 100 guests each month are able to take home bags of groceries to cook up for their loved ones.

Little Free Pantry
It is often more difficult for our guests to get food on the weekends. To address this issue, we established a Little Free Pantry stocked with nutritionally dense foods such as Nutri-Grain bars, nuts, nut butters, cans of soup, fruit, applesauce and pouches of tuna.

Guests of Sophia’s Kitchen don’t need to worry if they will be hungry on the weekends or after hours. The Little Free Pantry is stocked with emergency food and accessible 24/7. Anyone is welcome to help themselves to what they need.

The OSF Care-A-Van comes on the last Wednesday of each month, and the UnityPoint Health Wellmobile visits on the last Friday of each month as we provide support for health needs. 

Pet Food Pantry
We love our furry friends, too! Every Thursday afternoon, we have a pet food pantry, as we recognize the intrinsic value of the connection between pets and their people.

Donations Welcome!
The most requested items are non-food items like dish soap, laundry detergent and toothpaste. Shampoo, feminine items, cleaners and paper products are also much needed. Small sizes are best, as most of our guests travel on buses or by foot.

We will happily accept cat and dog food donations, wet and dry. Treats and litter are also needed.

How to Help
Donations of food can be dropped off at 103 Richard Pryor Place between 8am and 3pm. Non-perishable items can be placed in the Little Free Pantry at any time. We encourage healthy and nutritious foods, low in sodium, fat and sugar to promote the best health. Financial support can be done through online donations at or mailed to our secure mailbox at 504 Fulton Street, Peoria, IL 61602. 

Volunteers 12 years old and older are welcome and may apply at Individuals over the age of 18 must complete an online course before beginning. Volunteers will serve a four-hour shift once a week. We welcome those willing to cook, clean, serve the public and wash dishes. The work is physical and fun! 

Sophia’s Kitchen
103 S. Richard Pryor Place
Peoria, IL 61605
(309) 655-1578

Mailing Address:
Sacred Heart Church
504 Fulton Street
Peoria, IL 61602
[email protected]

Facebook: @SophiasKitchen

Fr. William Miller, Pastor
Fr. Jim Pankiewicz, Chaplain
Claire Crone, Program Director
Sr. Merlinda Marco, Assistant Manager
Courtney Curtis, Assistant Manager