Those principles are service and charity to the poor.
As was the case in the 1800's, the primary program administered by the Society at Our Lady of Hope Conference deals with food for those in need. Every month, Society members:
1. Provide emergency response to immediate requests through the use of
supermarket food vouchers.
2. Provide holiday meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas to 30+ families.
3. Collect bread donated by Shaws Supermarkets for distribution to:
- Client families
- The Ipswich Dinner Bell
- Our Neighbor's Table Food Pantry (Amesbury)
- The Ipswich Food Pantry
- The Pettengill House (Salisbury)
- Emmaus Food Pantry (Haverhill)
- Accord Food Pantry (Hamilton)
- Open Door Food Pantry (Gloucester)
SVDP has provided monthly food baskets to approximately 30 families for the past 10 years. Effective October 1, 2016, that program has been terminated.
In August 2016, the Open Door Food Pantry opened at the Ipswich Housing Authority site on County Road. This pantry, which is a satellite facility of the Open Door Food Pantry in Gloucester, is open two days every week. Clients have the opportunity to obtain meat and fresh produce as well as staples.
As this facility provides a greater availability to clients for their food needs, SVDP has made the decision to discontinue the monthly food baskets as an unnecessary duplication of service. With the extremely small budget of SVDP, we could not possibly be able to provide the service that Open Door does. Financial resources that were committed to the food service will now be able to be used for other charitable support. We will continue to monitor this need and will provide emergency food as needed.
In addition, provide the following non-food support as the resources allow:
1. Financial assistance with housing (rent, utilities, heat) in crisis situations.
2. Minor medical expenses.
3. Referral to long-term social services for those issues that cannot be immediately addressed.