The Society of St. Vincent de Paul helps the needy in multiple ways.
Besides secondhand outlet stores offering affordable clothing, furniture and household items, the nonprofit’s St. Patrick’s chapter also has been operating a food bank in Pasco for more that 50 years.
Though food collection is its priority, the Pasco facility also accepts donations of clothing and household goods for the growing number of needy families who ask for help.
“We have seen the number of families we serve rise substantially throughout the year,” said Ted Scott, manager of the Pasco facility at 215 S. Sixth Ave. “By the end of November in 2013, we saw an average of 745 families come to us for food assistance.”
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At the end of November this year, the number increased to 980, he said. Cash donations are always welcome, but the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing take precedence, he said.
“We welcome food and household goods, which are mended and laundered,” Scott said. “We are in particular need of blankets, men’s clothing, cleaning products and laundry detergent. We also work with the Franklin County PUD to help keep power on for those families having financial difficulties.”
The food bank also welcomes volunteers with strong backs and forklift experience to help in the warehouse.
The Pasco operation no longer operates a thrift store, but there still is a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store at 120 N. Morain St. in Kennewick, which is operated out of the Yakima diocese. The store accepts donations of gently-used clothing, household goods and some furniture, but not food items. Donations also can be made through its website at www.svcyakima.org.
“Canned goods, such as fruit, stew, chili, spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli and soup are always needed,” Scott said. “And cash donations also help us to purchase other needed items.”
The agency moved to its new location earlier this year, allowing space for a volunteer nurse to come in and provide blood pressure readings. The warehouse also provides a service so families can come in and pick out Christmas gifts.
“During the holidays, we invite people in to shop for a few gifts for family members and only ask for a small cash donation,” Scott said. “In this way, they are providing for their families without feeling like they are accepting (charity) from others.”
Food and clothing donations can be made at 215 S. Sixth Ave., Pasco. Cash donations can be mailed to St. Vincent de Paul, P.O. Box 4273, Pasco, WA, 99301. For more information, call 509-544-9315.