Throughout the month of April, people are stepping up to the challenge to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty. One great example of those leading the way in this work are members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP), named for the Patron Saint of charitable works. Vincentians, as members are known, are Catholic laity who provide food, emergency assistance, mentorship, job training, and form personal relationships that change people's lives.
SVDP got its start in 1833 when members started home visits - an activity that is still practiced today. Through these visits, Vincentian members establish personal relationships with our neighbors in need, not only providing material assistance such as rent, utilities, food, or clothing, but also offering friendship, understanding, and prayer. Today, the National Council of the United States provides resources, training, and spiritual formation for nearly 90,000 Vincentians in 4,500 Conferences and Councils across the country. Because “no work of charity is foreign to the Society,” Vincentians respond to many community and individual needs through programs such as disaster relief services, job training and placement, thrift stores, food pantries, housing programs, prison reentry, medical services, and many others, always seeking longer-term pathways out of poverty and towards the full flourishing of every person.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul - Twin Cities, was established in 1856 by Joseph Cretin, the first bishop of the St. Paul diocese. Minnesota's 28 SVDP parish conferences help make up the world's largest Catholic laypersons' charitable organization with more than 800,000 members globally. At the start of 2023, two new conferences based out of parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis (St. Rose of Lima in Roseville and Holy Family in St. Louis Park) got up and running. If you are interested in starting a conference, contact Patrick Kaiser ([email protected]) or Ed Koerner ([email protected]).
Even if your parish is not home to an SVDP conference, you can still join in their efforts to feed the hungry. If you would like to donate or have any questions, please contact Vinnie's Hope Food Program Manager, Serina Drake at [email protected] or 612-803-3648.
The following dry food and non-perishable items are in critical need:
MEAT AND PROTEIN
- Baked beans
- Canned Tuna, Chicken, Ham or Salmon
- Peanut butter
- Flour/ Masa Cornmeal
- Pasta of all types
- Rice (brown and white)
- Instant Ready Meals
- Macaroni & Cheese
CANNED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
- Fruit in juice (not syrup)
- Spaghetti/Pasta Sauce
- Tomatoes (diced, whole, paste)
- Vegetables (low or no sodium)
- Coffee and Tea
- Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, salsa, fish sauce, salad dressing)
- Cooking oil/olive oil/ vinegar
- Salt & Pepper
All items should be undamaged, labeled and still within the “best if used by” date.