The mission of the St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen is a simple one. Only 30+ words.
Those words have brought together more than 135 volunteers who strive to fulfill that mission. These volunteers come from every walk of life: The Law, Education, Business, Real Estate, Health Care and Homemaking.
These people prepare and serve more than 50,000 hot, balanced meals per year. They maintain a facility for personal hygiene and showers. They offer mail service and a physical address for those who have no other.
All of this in a safe, congenial environment.
For those people who have virtually no other resources, but wish to improve their situation in life, the Resource Center Is developing programs that can aid in that effort. Just underway is the Senior Nutrition Program. It is designed to improve a life style, develop a focus on self-care with resulting self-sustainability. The critical link is a caring, capable, coordinator and administrator.
Meet Tina Johnson
Recently retired from the local school district, Tina brings 30 plus years of Nutrition and Health Education, armed with Graduate Degrees in those disciplines.
With more than 15,000 former students between 15 and 45 who gave attended her classes, a day without a “reunion” is rare.
Tina currently heads up the Nutrition Program at the Soup Kitchen.
The word “Homeless” brings to the minds of many a concept of laziness, lack of ambition, addiction and more.
But of those who are Homeless, most feel just trapped in a condition that is far more complex. Without family support, without refuge, without basic survival resources, many still seek a route to “normalcy.”
More than 80 of the 120 plus homeless men and women, who find support at the Soup Kitchen, are now participating in the Nutrition Program.
Sam, Mary and Alfred – the names are changed for privacy – are encouraged by organized procedures. Not only for the daily schedule, but more because of the care, the concern and the recognition.
Sam feels there’s a book lurking in him to come to print. Mary just likes the way she feels. Alfred, who has felt mistreated by authority, notably the police, now says he’s trying to be more understanding of them. Sam, Mary and Alfred have.
Meet Tina Johnson
John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, once said, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who cannot possibly repay you.”
That’s Tina Johnson — a Kitchen Krusader.
A final note – please stop by at the Kitchen any day 8:30 ‘til 10:15 A.M. See for yourself.
Better yet, Join In.
Community Kitchen and Resource Center begin in Pinellas Country in 1982. The SVdP Soup Kitchen has been at the Park St., Clearwater location since 2011. Focused on client self-sufficiency, serving breakfast to the poor and hungry.