It takes about $7 in donations to serve the average family in food, according to her calculations, Willett said.
“So for every $7, we can feed a family,” Willett said.
In order to offset some of the food costs, St. Vincent de Paul also operates a thrift store which provides affordable clothing and other household items to the general public. Between the food pantry and thrift store, 30 volunteers are utilized to run both ministries.
“Donations of items are always appreciated and needed,” Willett said. “Every bit of money that is generated at the thrift store goes into the food pantry ministry. We have to rely on donations. Clothing, household and decorative items, bedding and baby items all sell well.”
Willett said while the thrift store isn't large enough to offer furniture, volunteers may be able to pick up larger items such as furniture and hold in a storage unit for a future garage sale to benefit the food pantry.
“A garage sale is one of the things we have explored as a way to generate more money,” Willett said. “If they can't bring the item to us, we could come and pick it up.”
One of the volunteers who keeps the thrift store running smoothly is 94-year-old Paula Jett.
“To me it's such a tribute that a person has that much dedication. She works two days a week and is such a delight to her customers,” Willett said.
For the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, St. Vincent de Paul will offer 100 holiday meal baskets per holiday.
“We are currently signing up people for the 100 Thanksgiving food baskets,” Willett said. “We will be doing a different 100 families for Christmas.”
Many people in the community do help tremendously with St. Vincent de Paul's ministry. One of those people is Agnes George, who donates 100 hams, as well as sweet potatoes and pumpkins for the food baskets.