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Julie's Journal - Summer 2024


July 09, 2024

Dear friends,

Welcome to summer! I hope this season brings you joy.

The months of April and May included both sober and joyful markers for SVdP Madison. In April, we provided food to 3,236 households; the busiest pantry month ever. In May, I shared this pantry record with guests at our Care Café fundraising breakfast. Also at the event, Chris Kane, our Senior Director of Client Services, talked about how escalating rental costs are the single biggest driver of financial stress for our neighbors right now. He explained how this kind of housing and financial stress can lead to homelessness.

The support we raised together at Care Café – an amazing $261,896 – will help neighbors like Kristine…

Kristine is a social worker for seniors at a local nonprofit and has two kids in middle school. In the past two years, her rent has increased by 40%, but her cost-of-living wage increase was only 6%.

By supporting SVdP Madison, you allow people like Kristine to stretch their budgets by using the food pantry, charitable pharmacy, microloans, or case management services to stay stable in their housing. You are actively preventing family homelessness right now and helping our neighbors in need. Thank you!

Time spent with Vincentian colleagues at a recent national gathering confirms that challenges experienced by Dane County families are reflective of what others face across the county. Here are my takeaways from those conversations:

  • SVdP USA is in the process of a nationwide listening effort to better understand post-pandemic needs of vulnerable people and the best ways to help them in the months and years to come.
  • The “new normal” after the pandemic is leaving more people without the resources to meet their basic life essentials like housing, food, clothing, and medicine, often leading to mounting debt and/or homelessness.
  • In this effort, we need to hear from YOU! We’ll be reaching out in a variety of ways. I hope you’ll respond with your ideas and help us find new and better ways for people who care to become involved.

In gratitude for you,

Julie Bennett
CEO & Executive Director

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