St. Vincent de Paul Place (SVdPP) hosted a celebration and open house Thursday, October 10th to showcase its facility and many services. Volunteers, clients and friends were treated to tours, fellowship and food.
The ministry, now housed on Cliff Street in the former St. Joseph School building, began 40 years ago in the Shannon Building in downtown Norwich.
“We were delusional young people trying to change the world,”
“We were delusional young people trying to change the world,” said Deacon Tom Casey, reflecting on the genesis of the ministry. “There were a few of us back then –– Larry Lewis, Fr. Pat Martin, and the Coleman family from 23rd Publications –– who saw a need, as the Norwich State Hospital began to transition patients back into the community.”
40 years later, the ministry continues to meet the needs of the community.
In 2018, their “Served Meals” program, which operates Monday through Saturday, averaged 222 meals per day, totaling 69,315 breakfasts and lunches. In addition, 15,156 sandwiches and miscellaneous meals brought the total of individual meals served to 85,271.
A food pantry operates out of the second floor of the facility. The numbers served are equally as impressive. In 2018, 491,956 meals were distributed to 1,565 unique households, comprised of 2,574 adults, 1,385 children, and 424 senior citizens from 25 local towns and cities.
Children are a special focus at SVdPP. They meet basic needs with formula, diapers, and hygiene. More than 500 backpacks filled with school supplies were distributed this year. While in 2018, more than 500 winter coats were distributed to area children.
More than Food
In addition to the meal program and the pantry, the facility houses a hair salon, a well-stocked storeroom providing apartment furnishings, showers and even pet care services.
The ministry also partners with several healthcare and social service organizations, providing case management for clients.
Donations Always Welcome
Donations of all kinds are always welcome. For instance, the food pantry, which serves an average of 300 families every week, can always use pasta, sauce, canned soup, tuna and peanut butter. And now with online shopping, groceries can be delivered to St. Vincent de Paul Place. Their delivery address is 120 Cliff St, Norwich, CT 06360
There are many more items that are needed as the cold weather approaches. Visit the website, SVdPP.org to see the latest list.