Society of St. Vincent de Paul announces new executive director

Crain’s Cleveland Business – November 20, 2017
by Lydia Coutre


Directors of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) have selected John P. Patton as the organization’s new executive director, according to a news release.

Patton, the incoming board president, has been serving as the organization’s interim leader since September, when previous executive director John Litten resigned.

Robert Reuter, SVDP vice president, will serve as interim board president until a replacement is elected.

Click here to read full article

John P. Patton

Kentucky Derby Party Featured in Cleveland Magazine’s “Party Scene”

Cleveland Magazine July, 2017

Cleveland Magazine’s “Party Scene” captured the fun at this year’s annual Kentucky Derby Party fundraiser for our hunger centers.








Cleve. Mag. Party Scene July 2017




WEWS News 5 “Kaleidoscope”

WEWS News 5 Cleveland – April 16, 2017

Marketing and Development Manager for St. Vincent de Paul Society Natalie Schrimpf  discusses the annual Kentucky Derby Party which is a fundraiser to support the organization’s food pantries.
(SVDP segment starts at 15:16 minutes into video).
Click here to view


Kaleidoscope 5

Host Leon Bibb and SVDP Marketing & Development Manager Natalie Schrimpf

I Never Thought That I Would Need Help

Lynardo Mays 2 - Jan. 29, 2016


Lynardo’s Story

Lynardo never saw it coming.

“It was like a lightning bolt out of the blue!”

This is how he describes the shocking moment he found himself homeless and hungry for the first time in his life.

Before this time, Lynardo and his wife of 43 years had been living for more than three decades in a comfortable middle class suburban Cleveland home that he painstakingly fixed up throughout the years.

Hunger and homelessness were two things he never had to worry about.

But when his marriage took a turn for the worse, Lynardo suddenly found himself banished from his home, alone, hungry and living on the streets.

“It was something that I least expected,” he said. The challenge now was finding help so that he could survive this crisis.

That’s when someone suggested turning to the St. Vincent de Paul Society Woodland hunger center.

Lynardo was worried that his lack of an address might prevent him from receiving emergency food, but was pleasantly surprised that the St. Vincent de Paul Society staff and volunteers were able to register him in the hunger center’s computer system and give him the help he needed immediately.

He was also impressed by the workers’ genuine concern for his wellbeing, such as whether or not he had a roof over his head at the end of the day.

The emergency food he received through the St. Vincent de Paul Society was a much-needed blessing during a very difficult time, Lynardo said.

Today, he is off the streets and lives in a house that he is renovating for a friend. And during the summer, he is employed as a landscaper at a golf course.

But he still occasionally relies on St. Vincent de Paul Society’s Woodland hunger center, especially during the winter when it’s more difficult to find work and his funds are limited.

“I’m very thankful for what I get at the hunger center,” he said. “It supplies me with the staples so that there’s less I have to buy. This helps my bottom line.”

He added that his experience has been humbling because he now has a new respect for people who are in crisis.

“There needs to be an entity to help others in these situations, and St. Vincent de Paul Society is that entity,” he said.

Lynardo is only one example of the 13,000 deserving adults, children and senior citizens in Northeast Ohio that the St. Vincent de Paul Society hunger centers feed monthly, thanks to the generous contributions of kind neighbors.

Whether it’s through non-perishables, fresh produce or hot meals served with a kind heart and caring smile, SVDP hunger centers offer people in crisis the nourishment they need to sustain them when there’s no other place to turn.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Woodland Food Center Receives Greater Cleveland Food Bank Bag of Hope Award


August 22, 2016

Media Contact: Natalie Schrimpf
216.696.6525 x. 2520 or

CLEVELAND – The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP), Diocese of Cleveland, was honored recently by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank for its commitment to hunger relief in Cleveland’s impoverished Central neighborhood. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank presented SVDP’s Woodland Food Center with its esteemed Bag of Hope Award in recognition of service to the community through both its emergency food program and its Seeds to Read early reading initiative to fight generational poverty. Will Skora, Woodland Food Center Operations manager, accepted the award at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s Sixth Annual Healthy Communities, Healthy Families Conference.

Located at 6001 Woodland Avenue, SVDP’s Woodland Food Center serves an area in which 90 percent of residents qualify for food assistance, according to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. The Woodland Food Center feeds an average of 700 families monthly and has experienced an uptick in additional clients, including the working poor.   During the past 12 months, the Woodland Food Center provided nearly 320,000 meals and assisted more than 21,500 people.

In an effort to combat generational poverty within the Central neighborhood, last March SVDP launched its Seeds to Read early reading initiative at Woodland Food Center by distributing free, age-appropriate children’s books (targeted at newborns to five-year-olds) to youth and parents as they visit the center for emergency food. SVDP collaborates with local organizations to provide volunteer “librarians” who assist clients with finding the appropriate reading materials.

SVDP Cleveland has operated the Woodland Food Center since 2013. It previously was managed by the Capuchin Franciscan Brothers under the direction of Brother Walt Robb, but was in danger of closing when it was announced that Robb was leaving for another assignment.

“The St. Vincent de Paul Society is grateful for this award, but also grateful for the opportunity to help so many good people in need,” said John Litten, SVDP executive director. “It takes a team of players to combat hunger in the community, and we are one of many members. We’re blessed to have the support of incredible organizations like the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, as well as the help of our dedicated volunteers.”

“St. Vincent de Paul – Woodland Food Center has been a fantastic partner since they came on board with us about three years ago. When we learned the previous agency that operated the site would be closing, we were worried how the neighborhood, particularly one with such a high food insecurity rate, would continue to be served,” said Kristin Warzocha, CEO and president, Greater Cleveland Food Bank. “St. Vincent de Paul Society stepped up and took over right where the other agency left off, and has continued to build their programming to best meet the needs of the families in the Central neighborhood and surrounding communities. We value St. Vincent de Paul – Woodland Food Center’s partnership and their commitment to feeding our hungry neighbors.”

The Bag of Hope Award recognizes organizations that have made significant contributions in the hunger relief network through innovation and excellent service in their region.

Approximately 200 people attended the GCFB conference, which was held Friday, August 19 at the Intercontinental Cleveland Hotel and Conference Center.

Established in 1865, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Cleveland, is a local human service and welfare organization of neighborhood volunteer groups residing in participating parishes (“Conferences”) throughout the Diocese of Cleveland’s eight-county service area. Volunteers (“Vincentians”) provide face-to-face emergency assistance to those in need, regardless of their race, ethnicity or religious affiliation.   Last year alone, more than 240,000 low-income individuals in Northeast Ohio received over $7 million in aid, which included food at SVDP’s multiple food centers, clothing, school supplies and financial assistance with utilities and rent. SVDP’s central office is located at 1404 East Ninth Street, Cleveland.   For more information, call 216.696.6525, ext. 3150 or 


SVDP Woodland Food Center Receives GCFB Award