Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha

July 2023 Newsletter

Supporting our neighbors in need through spirituality, friendship and service;

providing emergency food, clothing, financial and in-kind assistance/homeless prevention, since 1868

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  • A message from our Executive Director
  • SSVP's Food Pantry's Impact
  • SSVP Conferences' Pantries
  • Sack Lunch Program Feeds Hundreds Each Day
  • Message from Sack Lunch Volunteers
  • Least of our Brethren Breakfast & Fellowship

Message from our Executive Director, Jill Lynch-Sosa

“For I was hungry and you gave me food.”

– Gospel of Matthew, 25:35


“If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

– Mother Teresa


“What is needed is the willingness to end hunger…where the integral good of the person is at the heart of all initiatives and consists in 'doing to another what we would want done to ourselves.’ ”

– Pope Francis

Dear SSVP Friends,

When you think of food, do you wonder “what should I make for dinner tonight?”, or “where should I go for lunch today?” So many in our community only wish to have such a dilemma. The reality is, we have a food crisis, right here in Omaha.

Food is essential for every person to survive and thrive and should be a basic right. However, sustained access to sufficient, healthy food is a luxury for the poorest members of our community. As a result, providing food to the hungry and homeless ranks high on the list of the most critical services that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers.

According to a recent study, in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area, a little over 12 percent of families and individuals fall into a category called “food insecure” – meaning they do not consistently know where their next meal will come from, on any given day. Even more troubling is the fact that that there are pockets of deep food insecurity In Omaha, where that number reaches nearly 50 percent. It’s a misconception to think these people are all unemployed. Many of them are working but their wages are unable to cover the dramatic rise in goods, services, and housing. And, food insecurity is even more common among families with children.

The demand for food assistance has increased significantly in the recent months, and our donations and resources are depleting rapidly. We have been serving a growing number of individuals and families who rely on us for their daily meals, and it breaks our hearts to see so many people struggling to put food on their tables.

The need to address hunger right here in our community remains a top priority for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha. In addition to helping our neighbors in need stave off homelessness by covering a delinquent rent payment or utility bill, the Society provides a number of programs that provide food to our neighbors in need, and which is at the heart of, and central to this July Newsletter. While reading the following articles, I would invite you to consider how YOU can best support the important work of the Society, as we address hunger and food insecurity in our Omaha community. Every contribution, no matter how small, can make a significant difference in the lives of those who depend on us.

Please share this appeal with your friends, family, and colleagues to maximize our outreach efforts. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that no one in our community goes hungry.

Your compassion and support will provide hope and sustenance to those who need it most. Thank you and may God bless you for all you do to help your neighbors in need.


Jill Lynch-Sosa

Executive Director

P.S. Last week I read a very enlightening article regarding the fact that charitable giving in the United States declined in 2022 for only the 4th time in forty years. Here at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha, we are also very much feeling the effects of this drop in financial donations - both in 2022 and most certainly in the current year. If you're interested and have a few minutes, you can read this article, here!


SSVP Pantry Provides Much-Needed Food and

Hope for a Better Future

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul's large Food Pantry is located at 2101 Leavenworth Street and is open to any individual or family that requests assistance. As we hear - time and time again - the service we provide at our pantry is often the very thing that allows our neighbors in need to feed their families, as well as to make their monthly budget work. So many of our pantry visitors truly are just one paycheck away from losing their housing and falling into homelessness.

While the need for our food pantry increases every month, pantry donations have fallen off, substantially. A recent, non-perishable food drive yielded just a third of what it produced just one year ago.

We could really use your help!

If you are able, we would be grateful if you would please consider donating non-perishable food to our pantry – anytime between 9 am and noon, Mondays through Thursdays.

And, while we provide a large array of non-perishable food to our neighbors in need, the following items are the ones of which we are consistently in need:

  • Cereal
  • Meal Kits (e.g. "Hamburger Helper")
  • Canned Meat (chicken, etc)
  • Canned Beans (chili or pork and beans)
  • Dried Pinto Beans (which are the most popular!)
  • Canned Pasta Sauce 

If you are not able to donate non-perishable food items, we would also very much appreciate you supporting our food pantry by making a monetary donation, which you can do here!

Also, please check out this cool video (below) of one family’s recent experience of “shopping” at our SSVP food pantry. Pantry visitors, Latecia, Pilar, Dylan and Joel are being accompanied by one of our caring and compassionate volunteer “Pantry Companions" - Patty.


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


SSVP Conference Pantries


In addition to the Society’s main Food Pantry at 2101 Leavenworth Street, a number or our SSVP conferences also host local pantries at their respective parishes. While their open pantry schedules vary, these conferences/parishes include:

  • Holy Ghost
  • Holy Name
  • St. Benedict the Moor
  • St. Bernadette
  • St Bernard
  • St. Cecilia
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • St. James
  • St. Margaret Mary
  • St. Matthew
  • St. Peter
  • St. Vincent de Paul

The collective efforts of our Vincentians and other volunteers – both at our main pantry and at these SSVP conferences/parishes – go a long way in addressing hunger right here in our Omaha community.



A bologna and cheese sandwich, a handful of sugar snap peas or cherry tomatoes, a baggie of potato chips, a couple of cookies and a bottle of water. These rather simple food items – placed into a brown paper bag – comprise a standard sack lunch for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha. They also fulfill a real need for some of the poorest members of our Omaha community.


During the morning hours – Mondays through Fridays – the Society hosts volunteers who graciously prepare upwards of 250 of these sack lunches. Around half of these sack lunches are given out to our hungry and homeless north downtown neighbors, with the balance going to other neighbors in need who live nearby in low-income, “senior” housing. Most of the food and accessories needed to prepare the 60,000+ sack lunches that we provide each year – including nearly all of the food, as well as the paper and plastic bags – are purchased by the Society.


These lunches truly do make a meaningful difference to the hundreds of hungry and grateful individuals who are fortunate to receive them on any given day.


Message from Our Sack Lunch Program Volunteers


Our Sack Lunch Program volunteers recently got together and penned a message that they wished to share with other donors and friends of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha – Namely YOU! Below is their message:

Formally, we are (sorry, it’s a mouthful!) “The Volunteers of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Holy Family Community Center Sack Lunch Program”. We consider ourselves simply as “The Holy Family Sack Lunch Team.”

We are approximately three dozen strong, and we prepare, serve and deliver nutritious sack lunches and snacks to our friends and neighbors in need. Every weekday, we serve anywhere from 100 to 135 healthful lunches at our 17th & Izard Door (10:30 – 11:30) and our Van drivers deliver upwards of 150 more to various locations in Central and South Omaha.

Our Team helps fill more than 1,200 empty stomachs per week, and well over 60,000 per year.  In aggregate volunteer hours, this requires roughly 70 hours per week…3500+ hours per year. To us, it’s worth every minute because – firsthand – we see every day the critical need that drives us. Matthew 25:40, right?!?

But we serve so much more than simply food. We also serve up dignity, respect, support, friendship – and even some cheer, as much as possible. There are few greater joys in this life than helping to put a smile on a sad face, or when our Door or Van Drivers hear “God Bless You” dozens of times a day.

But we need your help! With food costs rising, it has become more difficult to keep our lunches as healthful and nutritious as they should be. To do that, we need to keep our refrigerators stocked with fruits and vegetables. Some of our SSVP friends bring fruits and veggies directly to us. God love them!

If you would like to help through monetary donations to SSVP Omaha, please indicate in your donation the amount you wish applied to the fruits and veggies for the Sack Lunch Program. We – and our neighbors in need – will be forever grateful for your help. Thank You!


The Holy Family Sack Lunch Team

You can make a donation to support the work of our sack lunch program (and our wonderful volunteers) here.


Below are just six of the approximately 70 regular volunteers who make upwards of 250 sack lunches - Mondays through Fridays.

Food & Fellowship With Our Homeless "Brethren"

Least of My Brethren – Breakfast for the Homeless

On the fourth Saturday of every month, our District Office’s sack lunch prep room gets transformed into an amazing free “restaurant” – providing a hot breakfast to over 200 of our homeless neighbors in need. For the last couple of years, volunteers from “Least of My Brethren” (LOMB) – a ministry rooted in St. Patrick Catholic Church in Gretna – turn out “en masse”, providing a hearty morning meal to anyone who stops by. Although their menu may vary a little from month-to-month, a recent Least of My Brethren breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, sausage, pancakes, fruit and coffee and bottled water.

Check out this short video of their conveyor line of volunteers preparing just one of the couple of hundred breakfasts, here.

Lori Wewel (pictured) and her husband, Van, lead the LOMB’s breakfast charge here at our SSVP District Office, arriving early, along with a host of engaged and energized volunteers. As Lori states, this monthly breakfast is more than just filling stomachs: “In addition to providing a much-needed meal, the other main component of this service is “to develop relationships with the people we serve. I know that these nice folks really look forward to seeing us each month.”

With the many smiles and hugs that accompany a breakfast plate or cup of coffee, this most certainly is true.

Lori continues: “We also have a street ministry component of our organization, which is to help the homeless break the cycle of homelessness and find housing outside of shelter….and work to help accomplish this. All of us with Least of My Brethren hope that the people we serve are able to find a way out of homelessness and into housing. We truly hope we eventually don't see them if it means that they finally were able to break their own personal cycle of homelessness.”

"Don't think that it's a small thing to be

devoted to the relief of those in distress."

- St. Vincent de Paul


Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha

1715 Izard St. Omaha, NE 68102


Help Line 402-346-5445 or

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Please contact SSVP Development Director, Tim Sully, to discuss a variety of charitable donation options, including monthly giving, donating stocks or mutual funds, the IRA Charitable Rollover, as well as planned giving / estate planning possibilities at!