For the least fortunate in the Somerset region, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul may be able to assist. They are part of one of the nation’s leading charity organizations and may have both short term aid and longer term self-sufficiency available. Examples of what may be available to income qualified residents include those below. Any assistance provided depends on many factors, including funding levels as well.
Feeding the hungry and needy in the region is always a priority. Several resources are available from the church and its partner agencies to make this happen. Any children and elderly depend heavily on these programs.
A Mobile Soup Kitchen operates in Somerset County. The location is sponsored by SHIP and other donations from the community. When it operates, the center can provide free hot meals in the parking lot of St. Joseph Church. This is usually offered a few times per month. Volunteers and this program may also serve hot meals at other times and different locations as well.
Other free food and meal programs include the following. Monthly luncheons will take place and can serve dozens of low income and/or homeless people. There may also be weekly bread, pastries and bagel giveaways. An on site pantry will also coordinate weekly grocery and food disbursements through a local pantry. This giveaway of boxed food will occur at the Parish Center a few times per month.
A number of basic needs can be met as well. This includes free giveaways of gently used clothes at the Parish Center, including a winter coat distribution. The location will also provide for a distribution of household items, appliances, toys and stuffed animals to qualified families that are re-entering society after staying in shelters.
A number of Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other holiday programs are administered by the St. Vincent de Paul of Somerset County. This includes a holiday toy giveaways and also Thanksgiving sit-down dinners for hundreds of people. There may also be seasonal disbursement of Christmas dinner bags.
While more limited, financial assistance may be provided in Somerset County. This is only for special needs in a crisis, and this will be very constrained by funding levels and other restrictions. Partial payments may be made for a rent or utility payment in certain emergencies or life threatening situations.
Most of what is provided to the less fortunate and poor depends on donations from generous people in Somerset County. Please do contribute to the Food Pantry or clothing closet if you can. Non- perishable items may be brought to the vestibule of St. Joseph Church. Or if that is not convenient, then groceries or other goods can be dropped off at the Parish Center.
Using the Parish Center during business hours, people from the region can bring new or “gently used” clothing, small appliances, toys, and other household items. Everything will be given to the less fortunate in Somerset County by St. Vincent. Also, if you can, please volunteer your time and talents at a food bank, feeding location, toy, clothing giveaway or other event. Or contribute money as a form of financial support. All donations will need to be placed in the poor box at St. Joseph Church and their money is used to fund the various Society of Saint Vincent programs and the funds will also stay in the local community. The bottom line is that you can help your community and neighbors through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Other social services available include referrals for medical assistance and AIDS testing. Or get access to education services and/or job training, which can include classes in English as a Second Language (ESL).
For more information, the North Plainfield St. Vincent de Paul Society, c/o St. Joseph Parish Center, is located at 99 Westervelt Avenue. It is in North Plainfield, New Jersey 07060. The main parish office is at (908) 756-3383.
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