Ladies of Charity expand food pantry in North Salt Lake

Friday, May. 20, 2022
Ladies of Charity expand food pantry in North Salt Lake + Enlarge
Father Andrzej Skrzypiec blesses the expansion of the Center of Hope food pantry.
By Marie Mischel
Intermountain Catholic

SOUTH SALT LAKE — The food pantry established by the Ladies of Charity in 2010 in a storefront in North Salt Lake has expanded, allowing the facility to begin a small thrift store to provide clothing to those in need.

The thrift store is expected to open this summer, once all the permits are obtained.

On May 11, the Ladies of Charity hosted an open house at the Center of Hope, 18 South 130 East, North Salt Lake. During the celebration, Father Andrzej Skrzypiec, pastor of St. Olaf Parish, blessed the expanded food pantry.

The Ladies of Charity is an organization of Catholic laity that was founded in Paris, France in 1617 by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Mariliac. The Ladies of Charity came to the United States in 1857 and now has 47 associations across the country. In Utah, the Ladies of Charity are affiliated with the parishes of St. Olaf in Bountiful and Our Lady of Lourdes in Salt Lake City.

In North Salt Lake, the Ladies of Charity operate the Center of Hope, which provides food for about 45 families each week. Once a month, members of the organization from Salt Lake City take food from the pantry to an additional 37 families in the greater Salt Lake area; about 10 families are served by St. Patrick Parish as well.

About four months ago, the Ladies of Charity obtained the space directly behind their own facility and renovated it to hold crates of food. This freed up space in the front portion to begin a small thrift store, said Bobby Earl, president of the Ladies of Charity.  

Because of the limited space, the thrift store offers only clothing at this time. However, the Ladies of Charity are raising funds to obtain a larger facility.

The food pantry began years ago with the delivery of food in the driveway of the home of the Daughters of Charity sisters in Bountiful, said Sister Germaine Sarrazin, DC, during the open house.

“We’ve kind of expanded a little since then, and in all honesty this isn’t big enough,” she added. “We’re aiming at a new building with room for a full thrift store and a full food pantry. … We do this because people are hungry, yes, but we do this because we are serving Christ in the poor that we serve. So it’s not a job, it’s a ministry.”

Many members of the community as well as businesses support the Center of Hope with donations of time, talent and treasure, she said.

Among those are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Davis County Utah Communications Council, which helps support the food pantry with donations. Members of the council also raise money for the food pantry and bring items from the LDS Church’s Bishops Storehouse to stock the shelves.

“We love what’s going on here,” said John Hollingshead, the council’s director.

Chad and Susie Gardner, members of the committee, help organize volunteers for the effort.

“The fun thing is the partnership with the ‘fill the fridge,’” Susie Gardner said. “This just feels so personal. When we call people to see if they want to be involved and we tell them what it is, they say, ‘Yes. Oh, I would love to do that.’ … And then when people drop off the food, the ladies treat them like a million bucks, which doesn’t hurt. … What we love about this one, I think is so neat, is that there’s not a lot of questions asked. People can come when the paycheck didn’t come through or they got laid off. It’s not like you have to submit all this paper and see how many weeks you can come get food here.”

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