Food insecurity is a big issue in Chicago. There are several organizations across the city fighting against hunger to improve the quality of life of those in need. One of these spaces is St. Vincent de Paul Parish where their clients range from the homeless to the housing secure who struggle to afford food.
As early as 7:00 a.m. DePaul students and Lincoln Park community volunteers prep meals for their 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. service. A huge challenge for the parish is that it has a small dining space only fits 24 people but serves about 150 clients each week. As a result, many clients must take their food to go or limit their dining space use for other clients.
What goes into developing a menu? It happens sensibly. Although the menu will change each week, clients can always expect bread, a protein, a desert and a drink every day. According to Father Dan Borlik, a Catholic priest and manager of the St. Vincent de Paul Parish’s kitchen, the process for developing a menu each day depends on their donations from Costco or Chartwells, a catering company working with DePaul.
Before opening the parish’s doors, a volunteer will lead the team in prayer signaling the end of prep and the beginning of service.