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Each week, hundreds of households turn to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry for food. In order for households to have fresh produce, meat, dairy, bakery items and more, we need your help. If you care about food security, helping your community and lending a hand to people in need, then join our volunteer team! Flexible volunteer positions are available on weekday mornings and afternoons. Some volunteer positions in our food pantry require the ability to bend, lift and carry up to 20 lbs. at a time, but not all. Ready to help? Apply now or contact Zoe Lavender for more information.

Lend a hand to:

Load food outside: HIGH PRIORITY

If you would prefer to work outside assisting with our drive-through food pantry, this would be the position for you! Your primary responsibility would be to load food into vehicles as they come through the drive-through.  This does require a bit more lifting and carrying, the items will be about 15- 20 pounds. (We do need a weekly commitment for this specific volunteer duty).

Control drive-through traffic: HIGH PRIORITY

Have you always wanted to be a crossing guard? Is blaze yellow your color of choice? We have an opportunity you can’t miss! Join the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry volunteer team as a traffic controller. As the pantry gets busier, help cars navigate the line and keep everyone safe.

Pack food boxes

This position involves filling boxes or bags with canned and dry goods (between 15- 18 pounds). Package pantry staples, cooking supplies and nonperishable items. You will also stock and sort some food donations.

Stock shelves

This position requires lifting and transporting cases of food. The cases can weigh up to 20 pounds, but many are not as heavy (between 10- 15 pounds). We have pallets of food stored in the back of the pantry and this job will entail taking a flat pushcart into the back and bringing up cases of canned and dry goods to stock the table that our food box packers are using to fill their boxes.

Sort and package food

We are in need of volunteers to assist with sorting food donations and packaging them into bags so they can be distributed outside in the drive-through. We are currently limited in morning availability however we are in need of volunteers for the afternoon shifts to help with a second round of bagging food once our pantry is in full swing for the day.

Fill online orders

We are in need of volunteers to help fill our online order requests. This job serves as a personal shopper. You’ll be given a list of items for an order and you’ll package them into bags and boxes accordingly. This will include various dry goods, dairy and frozen meat. Once the order is complete, you’ll label the orders and organize them onto shelves to await pickup.

Updated: 1/18/2023

The Feast of St. Isadore, patron saint of farmers, saw St. Vincent de Paul — Madison volunteers and staff come together for the annual blessing of Lacy Garden, a member of Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens.

Msgr. Larry Bakke led the blessing, which included a reminder from the book of Genesis that God has called us to be stewards of his creation. The gathered group prayed for a bountiful harvest to provide food for families coping with food insecurity in our community. Msgr. Bakke, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Madison, reflected that God’s work began in a garden and continued in a garden after Christ’s resurrection.

Tom Lacy, carrying on the tradition established by his late parents, invites volunteers to use 1.25 acres of the family farmland each year. In the garden’s 23rd year, planting began in early May, and harvesting will happen into October.

In a typical year, the Lacy Garden provides about 20,000 pounds of vegetables for distribution to people at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. Crops grown at the garden include asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, sweet corn, melons, squash and more.

This year, for the first time, a summer intern, Becks Gatewood, will learn and support the work of garden volunteers: individuals, families, corporate groups and youth group members. These workers are crucial to a successful harvest. Getting involved is rewarding. No previous gardening experience is necessary. Regular work sessions are held on Monday and Thursday evenings, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. You can find more information about the Lacy Garden and volunteer registration here.


2014 awards recognize service to neighbors in need through the charitable Society.

 Dedicated efforts by several hundred Society of St. Vincent de Paul volunteers make real the local charity’s mission of helping neighbors in need in our area. Each November a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in Madison is one means that St. Vincent de Paul – rooted in Catholic spirituality and social teaching – uses to thank the Society’s generous local members and other volunteers.

St. Vincent de Paul annually uses this event as an opportunity to recognize several volunteers whose efforts are exemplary and inspiring. The organization’s local 2014 Volunteer Service Awards were presented Nov. 6 before a group of about 325 St. Vincent de Paul volunteers, members and guests gathered at Madison’s Turner Hall for the event. St. Vincent de Paul Madison District Council President Richard Pilsner and Executive Director Ralph Middlecamp presented the awards.

Honoring dedicated efforts that help neighbors in need, the awards were made to the following individuals and groups:  Thomas Dobbins of Madison, Roger LaMasney of Baraboo, Barbara Matthews of Fitchburg, the Oscar Mayer R.E.A.D.I. group, Thomas Parslow of Madison, Patricia Ponty of Madison and Mary Jo Rimkus of Madison.

Pat Ponty was recognized for her Vincentian leadership and effort in a number of service roles over several years. Specially cited was Pat’s coordination of the annual Little Drummer Gift Giveaway benefiting the children of families visited by Dane County St. Vincent de Paul member groups (or “conferences”). This event, which Pat has worked effectively with other Vincentians to coordinate, is a Christmastime blessing to children of families struggling with poverty. Also noted were Pat’s Vincentian service and leadership as a longtime member and current president of Monona’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Tom Parslow was also honored for his Vincentian leadership and significant effort in several service roles over many years. Society members and volunteers tend to know Tom best for his coordination of efforts to farm the Lacy Food Pantry Garden in Fitchburg for the benefit of those who turn to Madison’s St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry for assistance. With Tom’s coordination and hard work, the fresh and healthy vegetables the garden has yielded – as much as 23,000 pounds in a season – have been greatly appreciated by pantry clients. Also recognized were Tom’s role in facilitating the work of the Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens network, coordination of St. Vincent de Paul’s annual “Pick a Pack” fundraiser for Lacy Garden transplants, Vincentian service and leadership as a member and former President of Madison’s Our Lady Queen of Peace Conference, and his current role as a member of the board of St. Vincent de Paul – Madison.

Barbara Matthews and Mary Jo Rimkus were honored together for serving as co-chairs for the 2013 U.S. National Assembly of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The meeting was held in Madison in September last year and marked the only time that Madison has hosted this national gathering of Vincentians. Barbara and Mary Jo were recognized for the leadership and effort they offered for this highly successful and well-attended event intended to foster growth in service, spirituality and friendship among the hundreds of U.S. Vincentians who met here. It was noted that Mary Jo and Barbara took on their National Assembly roles while also serving on the St. Vincent de Paul – Madison board.

The Oscar Mayer R.E.A.D.I. group was honored for significant volunteer service to the community. The award recognized work that members of this retiree group have offered as monthly volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry since the middle of the last decade. It was noted that generous spirit and regular attendance of the R.E.A.D.I. volunteers was evidence supporting the group’s acronym: “Retired Employees Are Dedicated Individuals.” R.E.A.D.I. pantry volunteers Dave Weber, Shirley Worl, Tom Parker and Ray Griesbach were on-hand to accept the group’s award plaque.

Roger LaMasney was recognized for offering Vincentian leadership as president of the Madison Diocesan Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. His 12 years of presidential service across three decades was noted, as was his long tenure as a member and leader of the St. Vincent de Paul conference in Baraboo and the Society’s Baraboo District Council. His dedicated service was cited as a testament to the priority Roger places on the Vincentian values of service, spirituality and friendship in the work of St. Vincent de Paul members on behalf of neighbors in need.

Thomas Dobbins was accorded an honor not previously awarded by St. Vincent de Paul’s Madison District Council. He was honored for significant leadership as a young Vincentian. While still an undergraduate and then a graduate engineering student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tom has helped lead and renew the student St. Vincent de Paul member group at St. Paul University Catholic Center. His service as president of that conference for more than two years and his work as a member in years prior were cited as instrumental in growing the conference both in membership and in service to people in need. It was noted that Tom’s service followed the example of the first members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, who were university students when they founded the Society in 1833.

More about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the volunteer and member opportunities it offers for growth in charity, spirituality and friendship may be found at