Food insecurity is a big issue in Chicago. There are several organizations across the city fighting against hunger to improve the quality of life of those in need. One of these spaces is St. Vincent de Paul Parish where their clients range from the homeless to the housing secure who struggle to afford food.
As early as 7:00 a.m. DePaul students and Lincoln Park community volunteers prep meals for their 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. service. A huge challenge for the parish is that it has a small dining space only fits 24 people but serves about 150 clients each week. As a result, many clients must take their food to go or limit their dining space use for other clients.
What goes into developing a menu? It happens sensibly. Although the menu will change each week, clients can always expect bread, a protein, a desert and a drink every day. According to Father Dan Borlik, a Catholic priest and manager of the St. Vincent de Paul Parish’s kitchen, the process for developing a menu each day depends on their donations from Costco or Chartwells, a catering company working with DePaul.
Before opening the parish’s doors, a volunteer will lead the team in prayer signaling the end of prep and the beginning of service.
Entrance to the food panty and soup kitchen that St. Vincent de Paul Parish clients enter 6 days a week at 8:00 a.m. (Robin Mosley – Jan. 24, 2019)
St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church at Webster Ave. Chicago, Ill. (Robin Mosley – Jan. 24, 2019)
Bible verse on the door of the partition separating the prep area and eating space. (Robin Mosley – Jan. 24, 2019)
Volunteers prepping chicken in the oven and opening food boxes. (Robin Mosley – Jan. 24, 2019)
Volunteer prepping eating utensils and food. (Robin Mosley – Jan. 24, 2019)
Father Dan (left) and a volunteer gathering socks from the basement to give out to clients as a part of the parish’s new clothing initiative. (Robin Mosley – Jan. 24, 2019)
Brownies and pound cake divided to stretch portions to feed their clients. (Robin Mosley – Jan. 24, 2019)
To go bags for clients who are unable to stay in-house and clients interested in getting food and leaving. (Robin Mosley – Jan. 24, 2019)
Larger view of the partition separating volunteers and clients. Volunteers are engaged in prayer before they open their doors. (Robin Mosley – Jan. 24, 2019)
Picture of Thursday’s team as they get ready to open their doors to serve food. (Robin Mosley – Jan. 24, 2019)