The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international, non-profit, charitable organization that has a rich history of service to the needy of our community. Our mission, through person-to-person contact, mass feeding, sheltering and other channels, encompasses every form of aid which alleviates suffering and promotes dignity and integrity. All races, creeds, colors, origins, castes, opinions and genders are served.
In 1982, the Society opened the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room, which is now the number one hot meal provider in our community. Located at 220 St. Vincent de Paul Place, our dining room serves a hot, nutritious meal every day of the year, as well as a brown bag supper. We serve the homeless, elderly, transient and poor.
Approximately 80% of the food served in our Dining Room is donated. Individuals, restaurants, local bakeries, supermarkets, and the Baton Rouge Food Bank donate food regularly. We also receive government commodities like butter and cheese. Sometimes we serve our guests food prepared by some of Baton Rouge's finest restaurants and bakeries, but most of the time our small kitchen staff and volunteers are busy preparing tasty dishes from donated items such as pork, beef, poultry, fresh vegetables and fruit. Funding to buy the food items that are not donated, and to pay expenses such as utilities, comes primarily from individual donations.
Like any restaurant or business serving food products, we must adhere to strict health regulations. All canned and packaged food products must be within their expiration dates, fresh fruit and vegetables are thoroughly washed, and cooking and refrigeration temperatures are carefully monitored. Our food preparation equipment and facilities meet the highest cleanliness standards.
As you can see, the Dining Room is much more than a "Soup Kitchen." No matter what's on the menu, you can be sure it will be a complete, nutritious and tasty meal. For many of the needy men, women and children in our community, it is the only well balanced meal of the day. For some of our homeless Dining Room guests, it is the only meal of the day. Our brown bag suppers are often the reason many of our citizens in need don't go to bed hungry.
Volunteers are an important part of all our programs. In the serving line at our Dining Room you'll see retired men and women, members of social clubs, attorneys, nurses, students, people from all walks of life, eager to help the less fortunate. As they ladle food onto the plates, they have a smile and a kind word for each guest. If someone is in need of a hot meal, they can come to our Dining Room between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m, no questions asked. Whether they are poor, homeless, or just temporarily down on their luck, we understand that, except for the grace of God, it could be any one of us.
To schedule a tour of our facilities, to volunteer, or to make a donation call (225) 383-7837.