Home » The St. Vincent de Paul Food Locker in Roseville: Quietly and Efficiently Doing Good
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The St. Vincent de Paul Food Locker in Roseville: Quietly and Efficiently Doing Good

People sit quietly in a small, undecorated room. There’s no need for small talk. Each one knows why the other is here. A middle-aged woman at my left sits quietly, holding a clipboard with a printed application. A random assortment of second hand children’s clothes hangs casually on a portable rack. More clothes sit in assorted large plastic boxes. This is the waiting room, where clients complete their paperwork to receive food donations.

I make my way out to the loading dock, where I observe the real saints of St. Vincent de Paul, hard at work. The concept is simple. They see to it that those in need of food receive it. It’s 9:30 on a Friday morning at the food locker in Roseville. The inconspicuous facility is tucked in a cul de sac, amongst industrial warehouses. Everyone involved seems to know what to do. They approach their tasks of arranging the staples in a positively efficient manner. Clearly, this well-oiled machine doesn’t need my help, so I do my best imitation of a fly on the wall, while the quietly efficient men and ladies set up to distribute the staples.

The neatly packed items on the shelf bring me back to when I delivered eggs for a living. The public doesn’t see the no-frills atmosphere of canned chicken broth and loaves of bread stacked neatly on wooden pallets and metal rollaway carts. But in this store, the customers have to register through application. It is six days before Thanksgiving, and the food locker is expecting a busy morning.

A core group of volunteers carries out its duties cheerfully. Some have been with St. Vincent for more than twenty years. It’s been said that if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. These kind individuals definitely represent the latter. One by one, the clients add up. An inconspicuous chart on the wall indicates that 2,066 received this service in October. That’s one shopping cart at a time, one loaf of bread at a time.

Naturally, in today’s economic climate, it’s not difficult to obtain clients. Word of mouth is easily the only advertising that St. Vincent’s needs. In today’s economic climate, St. Vincent’s truly has no trouble with getting the word out.

It was another successful morning of food distribution, and everything ran like clockwork. The loading dock closes down for another day, and the volunteers again have accomplished their task. They’ll go through their paces again next week, at the same time.

It was truly gratifying to observe an organization that helps people directly, with a minimum of red tape. If you are interested in donating to such an organization, go online at www.placersvdp.com.   It’s all too easy to become cynical in these times, with so many Americans struggling. My morning spent at the St. Vincent de Paul food locker in Roseville reminded me that kindness still exists.

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