The SVDP Food Pantry is open from Monday thru Friday from 1 PM to 3 PM, except for holidays, our home liaisons visits and provides the Eucharist to the Catholic shut-ins, we have a contingent of volunteers that maintain a local pioneer Catholic Cemetery, our drivers pick up a deliver local day old bread to the various food pantries in our area and we provide emergency shelter for homeless people on a short term basis at local motels and hotels. .
Our conference (local community group) is looking to bring in some younger volunteers in to help with the never ending stream of souls coming to us to be fed. Like most social service agencies this is a steady recruitment process to cover the shifts and the work that needs done.
Our ministries have been supported over the years by the SS John and Paul Parish in Burlington, SS Mary and Patrick Parish in West Burlington and St. Mary’s Parish in Dodgeville, IA. We have faithfully maintained a 100% voluntary organization and this has allowed us to keep a modest cash cushion to provide for the emergency needs of the poor of Des Moines County / Burlington area of Iowa and our conference.
Our food pantry and office is housed in the basement of the St. John the Baptist church building. This limestone basement has a catacomb of heating, maintenance, and storage rooms that connect the church to the cafeteria and gymnasium from the old Catholic schools that is no longer standing. The space is in some ways generous and enough for our food pantry and storage but like all such spaces has unknown environmental and layout inefficiencies. The shelves in the pantry are made of narrow planks and painted wood. These items could be updated and corrected is there was more funds in the coffers.
A significant local issue for our poor is the lack of housing and emergency shelter, especially when the weather is at its worse. We often provide a short term stay at a local hotel of motel but we do not have the funds to assist with rent or deposits on a more stable form of living. With the funds gained from this source we will seek to provide for this need and if the funds are substantial enough perhaps we could take over and old hospital or nursing home to provide for a longer term of housing.
The SVDP of Burlington has maintained its mission in a plain and modest fashion and our needs to upgrade our work space is to provide for more shelf space so that additional food choices can be provided. It would be difficult to change this space to provide for a larger store without a major amount of funds being raised and moving the store to a different location on the church campus.
As we reach out through social media and look at other grant options we wish to maintain our no frills, all volunteer and all funds towards our mission attitude. Your gifts will be used 100% to care for the needs of the poor and homeless in our area.
It is not by our will but by the LORD'S will only that all things are done.
Watch your gifts at work. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SVDPBurl #SVDPBurl or contact us anytime SVDPBurl@outlook.com