St. Vincent de Paul has county's largest food pantry Print
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Oct. 06, 2016 -- 12:00 AM
st vincent food pantry
Customers enjoy shopping at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul customer choice food pantry in Madison. (Photo credit: District Council of Madison, Inc., Society of St. Vincent de Paul )

MADISON -- The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has Dane County’s largest food pantry.

In its last fiscal year, the pantry served 20,577 families, providing food valued at $1,445,325.

Hosted by trained volunteers, the customer choice food pantry offers customers the opportunity to shop once a month for everyday staples such as flour and oil, select from fresh produce -- some from the society’s own Lacy Food Pantry Garden -- and choose from a wide array of culturally appropriate and healthy foods.

The pantry also has such items as diapers, toiletries, and some pet supplies.

Sources of food

The society fills its shelves with donations from individuals and groups, food drives, gleanings and donations from local grocery stores and restaurants, and economical purchases from Second Harvest and local wholesalers.

These sources assure shoppers that a wide assortment of foods and brands fill the food pantry shelves.

“There’s so much choice at the pantry; we can get the things we like to eat here,” commented Kristen, a pantry shopper.

Society’s services

A membership organization, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need.

Today, besides the food pantry, the society operates a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.

More than 400 St. Vincent de Paul members serve through 18 member groups (“conferences”) around Dane County. These volunteers continually strive to carry on the compassionate work begun when the founders formed the society in France more than 180 years ago.

The society operates locally as the District Council of Madison, Inc., Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Services the society provides are offered without regard to race, ethnicity, religious belief, gender, or other characteristics unrelated to the need it encounters among those the society helps.

Food pantry

The food pantry is located at 2033 Fish Hatchery Rd. in Madison. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Thursday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.; and Saturday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The pantry is closed on Wednesdays, Sundays, and holidays.

For more information, call 608-257-0919 or visit