Dinner at Vinny's (formerly the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen) serves a nutritious hot soup and sandwich supper - free of charge – to any person visiting the Catholic Community Services of Utah's St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall from 5pm to 6pm, every night of the year! We average from 400 – 700 guests per night. And in 25 years of operation, this means somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5 million sandwiches have been shared! But more than that, Vinny's meals and compassionate attention mean we live in a community that cares about the needs of individuals and families who are hungry and homeless, no matter what circumstances brought them there.
Hunger is a fact of life.
No one is without it, and we believe no one should be without a way to satisfy the basic need for food. It is said most of us are one or two paychecks away from homelessness and hunger. So with humility and gratitude for our abundance, Dinner at Vinny's is an attempt to share what we have. Students, scout troops, book clubs, neighborhood associations, merchants, church groups, individuals from all walks of life have been a part of this effort.
But that's not all! Dinner at Vinny's is poised to involve students and youth interested in learning more about social services in our community while grooming their leadership skills. In 2013, we anticipate creating a "Youth Shareholders Board" to work with the citizen board that will engage all of us in passing along to the next generation the concept of giving and sharing.
Who We Serve
Quite simply, we serve hungry people. Some are homeless; some are not. Some are underemployed; some are out of a job completely. Some are adults; some are children.
Whoever they are and wherever they come from, they are members of our community. They need a little help to get back on their feet or sometimes they are simply trying to survive. In these times, hunger strikes a cross-section of our community, and all are welcome to dine at Dinner at Vinny's. We can't help these people alone, however.
History of Dinner at Vinny's
Friends at Wasatch Presbyterian Church started the program in 1982, busing guests from downtown to serve meals in the church basement. When that became too unwieldy, the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall became the meal service home. From 1982 until the fall of 2011, the Salvation Army assumed responsibility for organizing the meals and composing the soup and sandwiches served at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall.
The program was named Dinner at Vinny's beginning in 2012 when a cadre of concerned citizens and Catholic Community Services of Utah (CCS) stepped in to continue the meal program when it was discontinued by the Salvation Army. CCS staff, working with a citizen board now responsible for fundraising and support, coordinates the meal service and volunteers.