For the sixth volunteer outing of 2017, we volunteered to help people get food at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. It was a special outing too as we were also participating in the 2nd Annual DE Day of Service! Given our focus this year, it made sense for this special day to continue and build on our work in the area of combating hunger.
This outing is a DE favorite helping out at the large and busy St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, which operates like a compact grocery store to serve between 60 and 160 families per day five days a week. Their customer-choice model of operation honors the dignity of clients and all involved in the distribution of free food to people who need it. This model also helps minimize waste and accommodates ethnic preferences by allowing clients to use “points” to shop for food their families prefer and will eat. Serving all Dane County ZIP Codes, their pantry annually gives away food valued at nearly $1.5 million to local households struggling with poverty. In a given year, they help local households with nutrition assistance over 63,000 times, including 27,000+ instances in which they help the children of the families they assist.
For this activity, we hosted clients around the pantry, some of which had been waiting hours to get food until all were helped. We also donated some items as well. As usual, it was an amazing experience and we got a nice tour of the facility afterwards.
Many credit union people often come back on their own to volunteer, which I highly recommend!
Special thanks to Courtney Cantwell and Kathy Varese who couldn’t make the event, but donated items!