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Members of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Omaha put together meals for the needy Sept. 25.

Parish holds service day

Honoring the parish’s patron saint two days before his feast day, members of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Omaha Sept. 25 gathered 200 volunteers in the gym to assemble more than 40,000 meals for the needy.

And in a related effort, students at the parish school Sept. 27 collected 2,500 paper items for the needy, including paper towels, toilet paper and facial tissue.

The parish’s outreach committee coordinated the meals as part of community service day, an annual parish project, with help this year from local organizations Omaha Against Hunger and Kids Against Hunger.

The paper products and meals of rice and beans will be distributed through thrift stores, the parish food pantry and other assistance centers in Nebraska and Iowa, including the Heart Ministry near Sacred Heart Parish, Bethlehem House, the Stephen Center, the Juan Diego Center and Food Bank for the Heartland, all in Omaha.

"This large parish project is one way we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the parish this year and living our mission of loving service to those in need, in the spirit of our patron," said Jenni Vankat, the parish’s pastoral minister and adult formation director.

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