St. Vincent de Paul Society and its Ministries in the time of COVID-19

I’m sure these past two months have been difficult for a lot of people, not only for the parishioners of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, but for those whom we serve that live in the surrounding community. For safety reasons, it was decided to close our Food Pantry the first week in April. However, for our clients that may need help during this time, the food pantry at Harvest Hope is open with drive-thru service on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9am – 1pm.

Volunteers in the Ministry to the Homebound have stopped visiting and bringing Holy Communion to those at home or in nursing facilities until further notice, however, the volunteers are calling those they visit regularly and sending them Spiritual Communion cards.  The financial assistance ministry, which provides help with utility payments and sometimes rent, stopped serving the public around the middle of March.

The hope is that we will be able to re-open these ministries by June. We will evaluate the situation concerning COVID-19 toward the end of May and the members of the SVdP Board will meet to decide on an appropriate date to reopen our ministries. We anticipate the needs of our clients will be greater after the stay-at-home order is lifted. During this time those that qualify for food stamps are receiving double or even triple the amount they normally receive, and the utility companies have not been turning off power or water for nonpayment of bills.

We have also been dealing with a leaky roof over the food pantry for several months now, and the parish had that repaired last week. It cost SVdP $700. for the repair. We will now repaint the ceiling and touch up the floor in the pantry before it opens again to clients.

My hope is that we will see a substantial decrease in the number of cases of coronavirus transmitted in SC so we can look forward to business as usual very soon.

God Bless and Stay Safe,

Pauline Bellavance