The COVID-19 pandemic required the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) to completely shift its service model, presenting a unique opportunity to connect people who need food with those who have food but need customers.
SVdP has partnered with 14 local food businesses to purchase pre-packaged meals at a discounted price. Those meals are served to-go style at each of the nonprofit’s five charity dining rooms across the Valley. The partnerships do two great things at once — feed hungry people and keep others in business and on payrolls.
By partnering with local food businesses, SVdP can continue to provide more than 4,000 to-go meals every day without volunteers and on a limited staff, while also supporting local business so that they continue to have work and keep their staff employed.
“Thanks to this new model, nearly 100 percent of our to-go meals are provided by local restaurants,” SVdP Associate Executive Director Shannon Clancy said. “We are grateful to the restaurant partners for jumping on board and to the community for making this possible through their unwavering support. This partnership helps us keep up with the demand in our dining rooms, allows fewer staff to have to redeploy from remote work in order to keep our food operations going and helps businesses stay afloat.”
Restaurant partners across the Valley include Ajo Al’s Mexican Cafe, Barro’s Pizza, Chick-fil-A, Chompies, Original ChopShop, Detroit Coney Grill, El Portal Mexican Restaurant, Ginger Monkey, Little Caesars, Raising Cane’s, R. T. O’Sullivan’s, Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants, Spokes on Southern, Straight to the Plate Catering, Streets of New York, Subway and Wildflower Bread Company.
Donations to SVdP’s COVID-19 Relief Fund make this partnership possible, which is an increased cost from SVdP’s typical budget, but the nonprofit believes the benefits to the community far outweigh the added cost.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to serving people in need and providing others with the opportunity to serve. SVdP has been assisting central and northern Arizona families since 1946 and has more than 80 parish satellite locations. It offers services for the homeless, medical and dental care for the uninsured, charity dining rooms, transitional housing and homelessness prevention assistance.