Prince George's County St. Vincent de Paul assistance programs.
The volunteers that make up the Prince Georges County St. Vincent de Paul charity come from many churches and backgrounds. The information they provide to families living in poverty comes without judgment. Also, the organization will refer clients to programs that may be able to help them that operate elsewhere in the county. Or in some cases St. Vincent may be able to offer their own services to the family.
There are pantries and thrift stores operated by the charity. Some of them also focus on special needs, such as supporting single moms and families with infant children. Or there may be a special focus on the elderly and homebound in Prince George's County.
The pantry is a key service of the St. Vincent de Paul program. Volunteers take part in acquiring food and other resources to help alleviate hunger in the region. For those that qualify, the charity will offer free food or vouchers that can meet the nutritional needs of economically disadvantaged Prince George County residents.
There will be everything from boxes of groceries to baby formula, fruits & vegetables, and canned goods. The pantry will also be combined with other food assistance programs from the charity, and some of those are listed below.
- Emergency Food Assistance is operated by USDA commodity sites, soup kitchens. This relies on surplus USDA items.
- Receive referrals to soup kitchens in Prince George from Society staff. In general, all meals are approved by a registered dietician and meet one third of the recommended daily allowance.
- Snack Attack is a service that runs with after school programs for students from low income households.
- Back Pack provides kid friendly food to eligible low-income children over the weekend or holidays. The items provided are designed to be easily prepared by the family and healthy.
Meals on Wheels are served each day by volunteers to homebound, elderly clients, age 60 and older. The applicant will need to be low to moderate income, but they also need to be confined for health reasons. They also can't have friends or family on site, and need to unable to prepare meals on their own without support. A donation for this service is always appreciated.
Depending on the location of the delivery in Prince George's, either frozen or hot meals are delivered once a week or 5 days a week by dedicated and caring volunteers. Not only that, but the St. Vincent De Paul volunteers often provide the only contact with these homebound senior adults.
The other main service is the thrift store. Some people from the region will refer to this as a clothing closet. The Prince George's County St. Vincent de Paul will sell items to the general public, but if a household's income is low enough, then they may be given free items.
Society of Saint Vincent Thrift Stores offer savings on furniture, gently used clothing, household appliances and more. What is for sale will vary. The Prince George's community is encouraged to shop, donate surplus items and even volunteer at the stores.
New items are added to the location on a daily basis. There is clothing for teens, men, children and women. Families from the community, or students attending school, that may be trying to stay in fashion without breaking a budget can truly benefit from the thrift store. Often have a brand name item at a very affordable price will help a child feel confident when they go to school, or maybe someone returning to work can get a head up from their competition.
Many shoppers from Prince George's keep returning to the site because of the ever-changing items that are for sale. The winter months in Maryland are always the most critical because the additional cost of heating and holiday expenses that many families have. The stores are also an important part of the Saint Vincent mission to help people in emergency situations, as the money raised from them is used to fund the financial assistance programs run.
Emergency services includes financial aid for paying some bills. Any assistance is as a last resort, and it may come in the form of vouchers for medications or rent or utility help. They also link residents to social service agencies in Maryland. This is the most frequently requested service, but it is the most limited due to lack of funding from St. Vincent de Paul.
This program also provides information about available programs for the working poor. If the service is not available from St. Vincent or a local church, then a referral is made to another agency that can meet the clients' needs. They will also try to follow up with the client. For more information, dial 410-727-3523.