On Friday, November 5, 2021, Vincent’s Table, a new program co-sponsored by the Sisters of Charity and the College of Mount Saint Vincent, made its first distribution to neighbors in need at 35 Vark Avenue in Yonkers. The site is the former Convent of Mary the Queen adjacent to Saint Joseph’s Medical Center.
A few days before the distribution, volunteers for the collaborative program —students and sisters working side by side— helped assemble the bags of food at Vincent’s Table in Rosary Hall. The bags were transported to the distribution site in Yonkers by student volunteers who worked alongside VT coordinator Jordan Douglas, Sisters Mary Lou McGrath, Maryellen Blumlein, and Margaret Kelly, and Associate Diane Dowling. Matthew Shields, Director of Mission & Ministry and an SC associate, was also on hand for the distribution. Sister Donna Dodge, who launched the partnered ministry with CMSV President Dr. Susan Burns, stopped by the site to celebrate the distribution and to lend support to the team.
CMSV nursing student and SC associate Nizarys Vargas said of the opportunity, “From the moment I heard about Vincent’s Table — listening to the ideas, then seeing firsthand the amount of work, generosity and dedication that was placed into putting this operation— I knew I wanted to be a part of the program. Many of us don’t realize how two bags of groceries can help extend someone’s resources. This is truly a blessing to the community, especially during these trying times with Covid.”
“It was very moving to be able to help our neighbors in need on Friday with Vincent’s Table,” said Shields. “I was struck by the gratitude of the people we were able to serve as well as the hard work our students and Sisters of Charity put in to make the first distribution a success.”
Douglas reported that approximately 50% of the bags were distributed. “Overall, it was a wonderful way to introduce Vincent’s Table as a stable support system for our community.”
Associate Diane Dowling added, “It was very gratifying knowing, that even in a small way, I was helping families who really need it. It made my day.”
The next distribution will take place at 35 Vark Avenue, Yonkers, on Friday, November 19.