Penny Dinners on Meath Street were instituted in 1912 at a time of huge poverty and social deprivation in The Liberties and the city centre. Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century was notorious for its poor living conditions and the prevalence of slums. Penny Dinners, instituted by the Guild of St Thèrese, known as the Little Flower, was one of many responses by religious and philanthropic charities to alleviate the dreadful conditions in the area.
The premise of penny dinners was to offer a nutritious meal for 1p, which both offset the costs of the venture and reinforced the idea that the meal was not ‘for charity’ but was paid for, no matter how little. The Guild also sought donations from better off neighbours and encouraged regular contributions of even just 1p per week.
The Little Flower has been a feature of The Liberties for over 110 years. The hall at 11 Meath Street has been a lifeline for many people over the years and is a recognised centre of the community. The dedicated team serve over 1,500 meals each week.
In 2020, when the Covid 19 pandemic began, the hall closed like so many premises, but Penny Dinners combined with other charities in the area to spearhead the Community Response effort that continued to support vulnerable members of the community through the pandemic.
Now Penny Dinners on Meath Street are finally back open to the people that need it in our community. They have been running their meals-on-wheels service all throughout the pandemic and are still offering that service but are also now delighted to announce that they are serving a warm lunch at 12:00 every Tuesday and Thursday (hopefully more days in the spring).
As a charity, Penny Dinners are dependent on support from the community and please feel free to support them as you can. More at www.littleflower.ie
Video that March 2022: https://fb.watch/irhBdgb4E5/