WILKES-BARRE – “Go to the poor: You will find God.”

Those words, written by Saint Vincent de Paul, a tireless servant of the poor and marginalized, come to life each day at the Wilkes-Barre kitchen that bears his name.

Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen, located at 39 East Jackson Street, serves hot, nutritious meals to anyone in the community every day of the week, including weekends and holidays. Besides providing nutrition, the daily meals also provide an opportunity for socialization for many in the community.

In 2021, Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen served 67,616 meals and assisted 4,051 households through the Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.

Generous individuals, businesses and community groups help to keep the mission of Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen going each day. On May 2, the Kitchen launched its main fundraiser of the year, “Sponsor for a Day.”

For a donation of $125, people in the community can become a “Sponsor for a Day.” Monies raised from the fundraising campaign will continue to provide nourishing meals to everyone who needs one.

Andy Reno, a member of the Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen Advisory Board, is serving as chairperson for this year’s event. He recently sent a letter to past donors and community members looking for them to renew their commitment to the Kitchen. Reno is also now extending the invitation to new donors and people interested in helping those in need.

“Today more than ever, many folks in our community need clothing, shelter and most importantly, food. Food is often something we take for granted,” Reno wrote. “We grocery shop, plan meals or make reservations at a restaurant for dinner with family and friends. Unfortunately, many in our community do not have this luxury. They don’t know where or when they’ll have their next meal and sadly, so many of those who go hungry are children.”

Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton operates Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen. For nearly 40 years, the kitchen has served countless meals to the community. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the mission of the kitchen continued as meals were served daily in take-out containers until the kitchen’s dining room reopened to guests.

Anyone who donates to the Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen “Sponsor for a Day” fundraiser gets their name, or the name of a loved one, prominently displayed on the Sponsor board at the kitchen with recognition also provided on the Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen Facebook page as one of the providers of the meal on that day.

Individuals can select a date that is special to them or their loved one by including the request with the donation.

Anyone who would like to become a “Sponsor for a Day” can send a donation to Saint Vincent de Paul Kitchen, P.O. Box 1088, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703. While the community is asked to consider becoming a “Sponsor for a Day,” any gift that you can make is always greatly appreciated and will help feed those in need.