April 27, 2020
By Ed Byrne
The Brillion News
BRILLION – The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is alive and well in Brillion, where its food pantry helps families in need to put food on their tables.
The local chapter began back in the 1960s at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Brillion – one of the three parishes that merged 20 years ago to form Holy Family Church.
“I think our charter goes back to 1968,” chapter president Ken Geiger said. “There were a few years where there was no activity.”
But that’s no longer the case. The pantry opens its doors twice a month – on the first and third Wednesdays - to help local people in need.
The pantry is located on the campus of Holy Family Church, where it shares an outbuilding with the parish grounds crew.
On April 1 and 15, the pantry had a crew of college students helping out with the food distribution.
Geiger said the pantry serves around 20 families, all with a proven need for assistance. The idea is to make sure they anyone getting the help really needs it.
“We’ve been [serving] as high as 40 households a month,” Geiger said. “That could be one person in a family, or eight in a family.”
The operation depends on donations from individuals, families, businesses and foundations. Some donate cash, others donate food.
All come from in and around Brillion. All of the churches in the area support the pantry with donations, and the membership of St. Vincent de Paul is ecumenical, too.
“The whole community backs this,” Geiger said. “We have such a generous, giving community. It is terrific.”
All of the sorting and distribution is done by volunteers who donate their time and labor.
In short, St. Vincent de Paul runs on heart.
The emergence of COVID-19, the nasty virus that’s in pandemic circulation, has made some changes in distribution of food.
Please see the complete story in the April 23, 2020 edition of The Brillion News.