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St. Patrick Center thrives with help from Great Ignatian Challenge

Members+of+the+Great+Ignatian+Challenge+student+team%2C+along+with+president+Fr.+Ronny+ODwyer+S.J.%2C+deliver+food+to+St.+Patrick+Center.
Julia Mize
Members of the Great Ignatian Challenge student team, along with president Fr. Ronny O’Dwyer S.J., deliver food to St. Patrick Center.

The shelves that were once nearly empty in the St Patrick Center, are now overflowing with food.

The donations from this year’s Great Ignatian Challenge (GIC) and the previous year have helped feed thousands of people.

“What it does is it puts food on the shelves for everyone in need,” Director of Philanthropy Operation Katie Joseph said. “So now when people come to us needing food, they don’t have to decide between possibly paying rent versus putting food on their table.”

The donations from the GIC were stored in the food bank’s two large basements. Both basements stored the food on shelving, pallets, and large cardboard boxes.

When the donations started coming in November, St. Patrick Center was running low on stock.

“We were excited because this helped us get through and had a variety of items,” Joseph said. “And the clients were excited to see options and more food available as well.”

The donations were the largest they have ever received and much larger than last year’s original De Smet donation.

“Something that is near and dear to my heart are the people who work here and want to be able to provide food for clients,” Joseph said. “So De Smet’s donation allowed us to provide services, which makes our job easier and more impactful for our clients.”

About one pallet of the food donated was shared with Operation Food Search, who is an impactful partner with St. Patrick Center.

Students visited St. Patrick Center on a couple of Saturdays to help unload the donations. They stacked it on shelves and helped serve lunch as part of the center’s Hot Lunch Program.

We love De Smet, and I hope every year we continue to grow. We hope to grow both the students’ involvement with our agency and also increase the donation.”

— Katie Joseph - St. Patrick Center Director of Philanthrophy

“Working physically at St. Patrick Center was an eye-opening experience,” GIC Student Marketing Chair Will Timmons said. “We raised money and cans at school, but experiencing and helping people firsthand is completely different, and it began to mean much more.”

De Smet plans to carry on the tradition and keep the same momentum going next year.

“We love De Smet, and I hope every year we continue to grow,” Joseph said. “We hope to grow both the students’ involvement with our agency and also increase the donation.”






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