Penny Dinners is one of Cork’s oldest caring organisations. We believe that Cork Penny Dinners has ties right back to the soup kitchens run by the Society of Friends (Quakers) at the time of the Famine in the 1840’s.

The principle of paying one penny was established then (at that time for a quart of soup and half a loaf of bread) thus importantly distinquishing the service from charity.

Soup Kitchen picture below from
’Illustrated London News January 1847’

At this time due to the large quantities of soup that were needed, 1400 quarts per day in February 1847, a fast method of cooking was urgently needed as the fires used up until this time took too long to heat up and cook the soup.

The Adelaide Street soup kitchen was adjacent to the shipyard run by Ebenezer Pike. They piped super heat steam from the shipyard and blasted it into the great vats of soup thereby achieving a much quicker cooking time. This is depicted in the picture to the right.