neighbors in need

SVdP Cleveland Launches New Software

SVdP Cleveland Launches New Software 1266 914 SVDP USA

In an effort to facilitate the ability for its English and non-English-speaking clients to order and receive food, SVdP Cleveland has partnered with Hunger Network to implement a new software at its Brookside Hunger Center. Brookside gives individuals the option to select foods, creating a “shopping” experience. SmartChoice™, a web-based digital ordering system, allows neighbors in need to order food in their own language and customize their selections based upon individual dietary requirements.

Those visiting the center are able to select exactly what they prefer from SVDP’s menu of available food items by using a touchscreen. They will also soon be able to order at home and schedule a pick up. Designed to improve the overall food pantry experience, the software provides SVdP Cleveland with the ability to serve food insecure families who are unable to visit Brookside during its hours of operation.

This new system has many benefits, both for clients and the organization, according to Gary A. Sole, CEO of SVdP Cleveland. “For example, it promotes healthier eating and less waste, as people only order what they intend to consume,” he explained. “Because it reduces spoilage and offers choice with reduced space requirements, it maximizes our pantry’s resources and even streamlines our inventory management.”

SVdP Cleveland’s purchase of the software was made possible in part with funding from Community West Foundation, Sole added.

SVdP Cleveland collaborated with its partner agency, Hunger Network, to implement the software more efficiently. Hunger Network rolled out the service in 2022 at its own newly-opened pantry located in Cleveland’s MidTown Corridor. “This collaboration enables us to benefit from Hunger Network’s experience to ensure a seamless integration for our organization,” Sole explained.

The system has proven to be extremely successful at Hunger Network, said Julie M. Johnson, CEO.  “We fell in love with the software once we started looking into it because it provided customers with a dignified experience and allowed us to encourage them to learn about and select healthier food options.”

In operation since the mid-1960s, Brookside Hunger Center serves individuals and families within and surrounding Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods. It is one of seven main food pantries operated by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul that provide emergency food supplies (which include shelf staples, protein-rich meats, dairy and nutritious produce), hot meals, and more to food-insecure individuals and families throughout Northeast Ohio.

Vincentians Show Christ’s Love

Vincentians Show Christ’s Love 1688 1125 SVDP USA

It’s been just over a year since Tasha called the St. Vincent de Paul Conference at Sts. Joseph and Paul Catholic Church in Owensboro, Kentucky. “It changed my life,” she says. “I was at the point of giving up. I was absolutely at my breaking point.”

After having made some bad decisions in her life, she was determined to make good decisions, especially because of her two boys. She was holding down a job at McDonald’s, as was her 16-year-old son Jamison, both of them working different shifts so one of them could be home with 10-year-old son Jaxon.

Try as she may, Tasha could not make ends meet. She and her boys were living at a local motel. It wasn’t the life she wanted for them, but at least it was a roof over their heads, and they were together. After living at the motel for more than a year, someone suggested Tasha call St. Vincent de Paul to see if they could help.

She was scared to call, afraid that they would not help her family. But Tasha put her pride aside and picked up the phone to call the Vincentians at Sts. Joseph and Paul Catholic Church.

The Vincentian who returned her call that day was named Braun. Desperate to get her family out of the motel and into secure housing, Tasha told Braun that she had enough money for one month’s rent, but the landlord was requiring a deposit of another month’s rent. She wondered if St. Vincent de Paul could help her with the deposit.

Braun told her, “Do not give up. There is a way for St. Vincent de Paul to help.” With the amount of the deposit, he called a couple of other local churches to see if they could contribute. After securing the deposit funds, he called Tasha and told her she could go ahead and move into her rented home.

More good news was to come for Tasha. Braun called her again and offered her a job at Kentron, a metal stamping company where Braun works. Tasha said “I could not believe it. I was so excited and could not believe this was happening to me.”

There were more challenges to come, but Tasha and Braun didn’t give up.

Remembers Braun, “She did not pass her physical the first time, but there were extenuating circumstances. Her car broke down, so she ran all the way to the doctor’s office in the rain and was so out of breath she could not pass the physical exam. We had her take it again and she passed with flying colors. She wanted this job, this opportunity to change her life.”

During her probationary period, Tasha got sick and had numerous doctors’ appointments and tests, but the company stuck with her. Another hurdle came when the home she had rented went up for sale, so Tasha and her family would have to move again. Fortunately, she found one she loved. Her landlord has even entered a contract for deed sale, which will allow Tasha to buy the home.

“This is the beauty of being a Vincentian: Being able to help break the bonds of systemic poverty,” says Braun.

Tasha wants people to know, “There is a chance. There is hope that life can get better. But you must want to change your life. There is a power greater than us that can help if we want it to, and let it. My plans are to keep moving forward every day, to stay focused, to not give up, and to get up every day trying to do the right thing.”

SVdP USA Releases Impact Report

SVdP USA Releases Impact Report 870 1125 SVDP USA

The National Council of the U.S., Society of St. Vincent de Paul has released its 2022 Impact Report to donors.

Donors make possible the work done by Vincentians across the country. Through their generosity to the National Council, they are supporting our vast network of volunteers as they share the love of Christ with neighbors in need.

Titled “Seeing and Being the Face of Christ,” this year’s report features stories of how SVdP’s national network of Vincentian volunteers provides urban, rural, and even suburban communities with resources and compassion. So neighbors living in the foothills of Appalachia or in Florida’s Everglades can receive the same level of assistance and care as those living in bigger cities.

The National Council serves nearly 90,000 Vincentian volunteers representing almost 4,500 parish-based Conferences. Recently, the Do Good Institute and Independent Sector reported that the value of one volunteer hour is estimated to be $29.95. In 2021, Vincentians around the country contributed a total of more than 7.3 million volunteer hours. Last year, Vincentians served more than 3.3 million neighbors in need across the country. That puts the total annual value of the Society’s in-kind labor at over $218 million last year alone!

Click here to read this year’s Impact Report.

St. Vincent de Paul Dental Clinics Transform More Than Just Smiles

St. Vincent de Paul Dental Clinics Transform More Than Just Smiles 697 590 SVDP USA

Various St. Vincent de Paul Conferences across the U.S. are home to dental clinics providing quality dental services to those in need. And while those served have a big reason to smile, so do the volunteers and staff who make it all happen.

Here’s the story of one dental staff member at SVdP Phoenix’s Virginia G. Piper Dental Clinic. The video follows Betty, an SVdP dental assistant who was born in Mexico and came to the United States as a young child. She’s faced insurmountable obstacles in her life, but with help from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, she’s been able to accomplish a great deal — and is about to take another big step towards achieving her dreams.

To learn more about the SVdP dental clinic in Phoenix, visit their website.

SVdP Dentist on Wheels Clinic Opens in Contra Costa County

SVdP Dentist on Wheels Clinic Opens in Contra Costa County 1093 658 SVDP USA

Offering free dental care for local residents without dental insurance, St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County (SVdP) has partnered with Dentists on Wheels (DOW) to open its Dentist on Wheels Pittsburg Free Dental Clinic. The free dental clinic will be able to treat most patients’ needs — from screenings, cleaning, and checkups, to fillings, crowns, extractions, and dentures. All dental equipment and furnishings have been donated to the 3-chair clinic, which will be staffed by volunteer dentists.

The Need for Dental Care Access

Many neighbors in need lack dental insurance, and access to dental care is normally out of reach for uninsured, low-income residents. Tooth pain and other dental issues can cause a massive drop in quality of life for those suffering.

Tooth extraction is an inexpensive means of addressing dental pain, but it can create many long-term issues that profoundly impact a patient’s quality of life. By providing accessible preventative care and restorative procedures, the free dental clinic will lessen the number of extractions happening in Contra Costa County and keep the county smiling.

For many years, SVdP of Contra Costa has partnered with La Clinica Dental and LifeLong Dental Clinic to provide free dental services to people in need. The program began when a trainee in SVdP’s Workforce Development Program found that he had a hard time securing employment because he was missing several teeth. By underwriting the cost of his dental care and replacement teeth, SVdP successfully helped him obtain a job and become self-sufficient.

With that, SVdP’s Dental Program was born, with SVdP underwriting the cost of treatment and referring patients to La Clinica and Lifelong Dental.

Dentists on Wheels

Dentists on Wheels was founded by Shab Farzaneh, who learned that many low-income people without dental insurance have teeth pulled when they experience pain or decay. Extractions have many negative impacts, including the loss of enjoyment of food, limited job opportunities, and even changing a person’s facial structure. She was determined to provide a better solution, and began to mobilize a team of volunteer dentists, including Dr. Neda Oromchiam, Retired Dentist and DOW Dental Director.

DOW partnered with SVdP because of the Society’s long history of serving the most vulnerable. The 3-chair clinic is located at the SVdP Family Resource Center in Pittsburg, CA. Additional resources at the SVdP Family Resource Center include a free dining room, free medical clinic, free food pantry, daytime homeless shelter, employment & training program, clothing & furniture and other services.

The clinic is also sponsored by The California Wellness Foundation, John Muir Health, Refera, Fremont Bank, Digital DOC, Optum, Q-Optics, Shoreview Dental, The Patterson Foundation, Dr. Amanda Backstrom, NSK Dental Instruments, XDR Radiology, as well as many dental specialists and private donors.

You can help by donating to the free dental clinic at or

St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy

Serving the Uninsured at St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy

Serving the Uninsured at St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy 1920 2560 SVDP USA

For the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, one pervasive challenge across the communities we serve is poor health management, often exacerbated by lack of access to prescription medications.

The first pharmacy of its kind in Texas, the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy serves the uninsured whose household income is at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, which for a family of four is an annual income of $25,701. Nearly 1 in 2 Texans have incomes at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

Since its founding in March 2018, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul North Texas’ freestanding charitable pharmacy, named the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy, has filled the gap for many North Texans unable to afford medication. Nearly half of all Texans have incomes at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

As the pandemic’s effects continue to severely impact our neighbors in need, the pharmacy has been busier than ever, serving nearly 1,000 patients and averaging more than 400 prescriptions per week since March 2020. The St. Vincent de Paul team also innovated their service model by removing the transportation barriers that had previously prevented some clients from obtaining their medication by allowing for prescriptions to be mailed or personally delivered to those who need it.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul North Texas CEO Mike Pazzaglini recently spoke on the program’s expansion on Good Morning Texas. He noted that rather than a reduction in services, the St. Vincent de Paul pharmacy actually served exponentially more neighbors in need over the last year. “We went from 9,000 the year prior, to this year, where we filled over 17, 500 prescriptions.”

Says one pharmacy patient, Elsa R., “I am really grateful because I depend on my medication and I would not know how to find the means to pay.”

Neighbors in need aren’t the only ones who see the benefits of the pharmacy. Vincentian volunteer Martha Korioth notes that, “Vincentians are called to BE the face of Jesus TO others — and, to SEE the face of Jesus IN others. As a volunteer at the SVdP Pharmacy, I see the face of Jesus in the face of each Pharmacy staff member, and I see Jesus’ smiling face on each friend, who comes to pick up their medications. Remarkable growth [of the program]… is leading to Systemic Change for the poorest of the poor in this community.”

To learn more about how you can help support the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy in Texas, or to learn whether you qualify for services, visit the Society of St. Vincent de Paul North Texas website.

help the needy

Will You Help the Friends of the Poor?

Will You Help the Friends of the Poor? 2560 1707 SVDP USA

At the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, many of our nearly 4,500 Conferences and Councils across the United States have felt the financial effects of COVID-19. Some are seeing up to a 300% increase in need for food alone! And with 10 million Americans currently behind in rent payments, we expect a similar increase in demand for rent assistance in coming months, regardless of eviction moratoriums and government help.

By making a gift to the Friends of the Poor Grant Fund, you will provide emergency funding for local St. Vincent de Paul Conferences and Councils, to help Vincentian volunteers meet the growing demand for food and other basic emergency needs.

Will you donate today to the Friends of the Poor program? Your financial support is crucial and will allow Vincentian volunteers to bring the hope of the Gospel, answering Christ’s call to his disciples in Mathew 25: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink.”

Your Donation Makes a Difference 

Please donate today at You will be helping those most impacted by COVID-19.
Thank you, and may Christ’s presence fill your hearts this most sacred time of year.
SVdP Georgia Pharmacy

SVdP Georgia Community Pharmacy Now Open

SVdP Georgia Community Pharmacy Now Open 2048 1367 SVDP USA

One pervasive challenge across the communities served by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is poor health management, often exacerbated by lack of access to prescription medications. Some local Vincentian Conferences and Councils are meeting that challenge by creating community pharmacies to dispense medication to low-income, uninsured patients at little or no charge.

Our newest location, the SVdP Georgia Community Pharmacy opened Monday, February 1. It’s a fully licensed charitable pharmacy whose mission is to provide prescription medications and wellness education for low-income individuals by providing prescribed maintenance medications to neighbors in need.

Providing services to the entire state of Georgia, the SVdP Georgia Community Pharmacy supports Georgia residents who quality for services and cannot afford maintenance medications for conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular, asthma, COPD, and mental health.

Who’s Eligible?

Once a patient is referred to the community pharmacy, volunteer screeners will check their eligibility, based on income and expenses. The pharmacy will serve eligible patients with an income no greater than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and uninsured individuals 18+ living within the State of Georgia; as well as individuals with a valid prescription(s) for the medication needed.

Georgia residents who may qualify can submit an eligibility form here.

Your Donations Can Help

The SVdP Georgia Community Pharmacy will be crucial to a strong network of healthcare agencies, social service non-profits, churches, and public agencies that work together closely to serve needy patients throughout the state.

The pharmacy is currently accepting both financial and in-kind donations. For every $1 donated, the pharmacy is able to dispense $12 worth of medications.

Additional Pharmacy Information

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s community-based charitable pharmacies employ three strategies proven to have a positive impact on health outcomes:

  1. Carrying essential medication via a smart, therapeutically effective formulary, targeted to manage primary-care health conditions.
  2. Dispensing the volume of medication needed to serve all patients.
  3. Providing that medication in a consistent supply, day after day, year after year, for patients who maintain health through medication therapies.

Located in diverse communities across the country, our charitable pharmacies dispense low-cost or free medication to our most vulnerable populations, helping them to lead healthier, more productive lives.

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