The Kinds of Help You Can Support

Current COVID-19 Procedures

Helping Our Neighbors in NeedHere in Dane County. That’s our St. Vincent de Paul mission in a nutshell. We provide this help in many ways:

  • Food Pantry
  • Charitable Pharmacy
  • Two housing programs
  • Clothing and furniture vouchers

The variety of food at our busy customer-choice Food Pantry; free prescription medicine at our Charitable Pharmacy; vouchers for furniture, clothing and household items provided through our stores; and housing programs for men and for women and children leaving homelessness provide crucial help for families and individuals coping with poverty. Our Society’s members – volunteers in 18 church groups around Dane County – visit the homes of people who are living in poverty, struggling or forgotten – upon request to see how we can offer resources and help. Our members, staff and volunteers provide help without regard to the race, ethnicity, gender or creed.

Revenues from sales of donated goods at our local stores fund some of the services we offer, but the charity we provide also relies on generous financial gifts from caring people who support our mission of helping our neighbors in need. The range of basic-needs services we provide to local households struggling with poverty includes:

  • Zaniah-2 -- Tashai -- Carlos fnpermis -- 11-8-2011Food Pantry: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently operating our pantry as a drive-through service. Families receive approximately 75 lbs. of meat, fresh produce, eggs, milk, pantry items, bakery and more. We continue to serve between 60 and 100 families each day four days a week. Serving all Dane County ZIP Codes, our pantry annually gives away food valued at nearly $1.5 million to local households struggling with poverty. Each year, we help local households with nutrition assistance over 63,000 times, including 27,000+ instances in which we help the children of the families we assist. Read more.
  • Prescrip bottle - pills - SVdP logoCharitable Pharmacy: The first facility of its kind in Wisconsin, the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy helps ensure that low-income uninsured persons in Dane County have a compassionate resource to rely on for receiving ‒ without charge ‒ the prescribed medications, related medication education, and planning they need for effective treatment of their chronic and acute medical conditions.  Located in our Madison service center and dispensing prescription drugs valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, our Charitable Pharmacy helps maximize the efficiency of our community’s health-care system by allowing individuals otherwise unable to afford prescribed drugs to get the medications they need. This results in improved health outcomes and decreased need for treatment in emergency rooms and other acute-care settings. Read more.iStock_000015549299Small
  • Clothing, furniture, bedding & household goods:  Annually, we provide local low-income households more than $400,000 in these sorts of basic necessities free and directly from the inventory of our thrift stores. Our member groups around the county meet with people in their homes when they request assistance and help bring our Society’s resources to bear in meeting need for these basic goods. Read more about clothing assistance. Read more about help with furniture and other items.
  • Housing programs: On most nights more than 60 men, women and children make their home in housing operated by St. Vincent de Paul in Madison. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House is a transitional-housing programseton 1 & 4 for women and their children. It began in 1989 and operates today through four locations in Madison’s Isthmus. Port St. Vincent de Paul, in Madison’s Williamson-Marquette neighborhood, opened in 1976 and is the community’s longest-serving housing program for low-income men. The Port’s program works to restore hope for local men in need of transitional, supportive and emergency housing. The Port also supplies program participants with meals, needed clothing and 24-hour staffing. At both Seton House and Port St. Vincent, participants pay program fees and work toward goals for their appropriate next steps in life.  St. Vincent de Paul donors significantly subsidize both programs. Read more.
  • Storage program: A newly renovated building across the street from our Madison service center securely stores items belonging to people experiencing homelessness. Personal papers, family mementos, out-of-season clothing, and even tools are commonly  stored at Vinny’s Lockers. Up to 45 individuals may store belongings through this free program. Read more.
  • Other assistance: We offer other forms of basic-needs help through efforts such as our Lacy Food Pantry Garden, Recycle the Warmth Blanket Drive, portable-crib program and energy-assistance program. Read more or contact us at (608) 442-7200 for more information.

Other client stories

2022 St. Vincent de Paul — Madison Care Café

Below, you’ll find a few stories about people who used our services. You can also check out our 25-minute Care Café event at right! Our virtual fundraising event tells the story of our programs through the eyes of several people who used our services. Keynote speaker, Matthew Gonnering, shared encouragement on how we can all answer the call to help our community. Thank you to all of our sponsors, especially Platinum sponsors: Aprilaire, Hausmann Group, SSM Health and Simple Network Consulting.


“It helps out a lot. Sometimes food stamps are just not enough. Here, it’s more comfortable to get a little helping hand. There’s no judgment here.”
- Kendria, About Our Food Pantry