The COVID-19 pandemic presented St. Vincent de Paul with a unique opportunity to connect people who need food with those who had food but needed customers. That’s what brought SVdP together with 19 local food businesses.
By partnering with local food businesses, SVdP continued to provide more than 4,000 to-go meals every day without volunteers and with limited staff, while also supporting local business during a time when they needed a way to keep their staff employed. The nonprofit served those meals to-go at each of its five charity dining rooms across the Valley. At one point, almost 100 percent of SVdP meals came from its restaurant partnerships. Partnerships slowly subsided as restaurants re-opened or switched to take-out service.
Restaurant partners across the Valley included:
1. Ajo Al’s Mexican Café
2. Barro’s Pizza
5. Original ChopShop
6. Detroit Coney Grill
7. El Portal Mexican Restaurant
8. Ginger Monkey
9. La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen
10. Little Caesars
11. R. T. O’Sullivan’s
12. Raising Cane’s
13. Salad & Go
14. Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants
15. Spokes on Southern
16. Straight to the Plate Catering
17. Streets of New York
19. Wildflower Bread Company
“We’ll forever be grateful to our restaurant partners,” SVdP Food Services Director Danielle McMahon said. “Together, we saw each other through tough times and transitions none of us ever expected. And we’ve come out a stronger community for it. We hope this won’t be the end of our work together and look forward to future opportunities (hopefully in happier times) to serve our community together again.”
“Together, we saw each other through tough times and transitions none of us ever expected.”
– SVdP Food Services Director Danielle McMahon
As of September, SVdP has almost entirely shifted to cooking its own meals again and packaging them in to-go containers except for a few partnerships continued at individual dining rooms.
“We’re enjoying our new moment,” Danielle said. “It’s great to see our kitchen staff back in their groove, doing what they love and serving up some delicious food.”
This article also appeared in the winter 2020 issue of Vincentian Connection.