The society has been most fortunate in being provided space in Christ the King University Parish Center. We have storage space as well as a walk-in refrigerator and a walk-in freezer. It is from this base that St. Vincent de Paul volunteers go forth five nights a week with food provided through the generosity of our donors. We deliver food to families in Athens and the surrounding townships.
Currently there are 40 to 45 Vincent de Paul volunteers who help with a variety of tasks. With these people we accomplish all of the work we do.
In the past year, St. Paul's Parish members have given $7,539.50 and Christ the King University Parish gave $7,016.87 for a total of $14,556.37 to support our organization. Add to that $991.00 in other donations, and you have more than $15,500 which we use for our work!
We depend on the Southeast Ohio Regional Food Bank for the majority of our food. At this facility, a part of Second Harvest, all types of food from frozen pizzas to canned vegetables can be purchased by local food pantries at a cost of less than 10.5 cents per pound. We also purchase milk, bread and eggs from local merchants who give special rates to St. Vincent de Paul. Average over-all cost of food last year averaged 18.5 cents per pound.
Between October 1, 1997 and September 30, 1998, St. Vincent de Paul has delivered food to 2,086 people in 610 households. In addition, food has been given to Good Works, the local facility for the homeless, and to the Gathering Place.
Not all the assistance is food. People who are desperate call on St. Vincent de Paul for other help too. St. Vincent de Paul has been able to pay $618.99 in utility assistance for clients about to lose power, heat or water, or to have their service resumed after it was cut off. Another $82.82 went for transportation, which meant buying gasoline so someone could drive to a job or go for an interview. St. Vincent de Paul used its contributions to pay $114 to assist people who faced eviction because of their failure to pay rent, and another $184.86 was used to buy medication for people without enough money to have prescriptions filled. We donated $500 to a new group, "Neighbors Helping Neighbors", which is a division of Tri-County Community Action Food Center; this group is expected to help people with rent, utilities, and transportation needs as well. "Meals on Wheels", a program of the Southeast Ohio Regional Food Center, received a donation of $1000 from us since they feed a lot of people in our region.