Vincent's Vault Food Pantry


Vincent's Vault Food Pantry




Mrs. Lisa Mclain, Director of Campus Ministry at Xavier University of Louisiana.


Mrs. Lisa Mclain gives us a closer insight into her take on New Orleans what Vincent's Vault Food Pantry is all about.


Nuela Fonmedig


My Nola, My Story via Youtube


Mass Communication Department at Xavier University of Louisiana


May 5th, 2021


My Nola, My Story





Original Format


[00:04] Lisa Mclain: My name is Lisa Lewis Mclain and I'm the Director of Campus Ministry.

[00:12] Lisa Mclain: We've been working for over 25 years. And in terms of my experience, um, I was a student here. First. I came to Xavier as an undergrad and I got my BA from Xavier. And during that time we had like 1500 students. So it was a smaller campus. Um, not as many buildings. The community was really, really close. And then I came back and, um, got my master's. And after getting my master's at danger, um, we grew a little bit more and then I decided to, um, go out in the work world and so forth then came back and worked at Xavier. And I started working as at Xavier , um, the nineties. And then after that, um, just a lot of transitions and so forth. The community just kept growing and growing. And it's always been a close knit community. Uh, students could always go to professors and talk to them if they had issues or concerns with their subject matter. And the professors would take time and explain things to them after hours, um, after their classes, sometimes they would meet on the weekends and so forth, really trying to make sure the students understand the material and make sure that they did well in their classes.

[01:40] Lisa Mclain: In new Orleans. Uh, we pride ourselves on being a close knit family and also our love of food. So as we sit down and we converse, um, with each other, with family members ever, I could remember every Sunday we had to go over by our parents' house and all of the relatives would gather we would have a big meal. We would sit down and we would talk, laugh, enjoy each other, listen to music, um, play cards, uh, dance, and just have a good time. And then we would look forward to doing that every weekend, every Sunday

[02:24] Lisa Mclain: Vincent''s Vault Food Pantry was started, uh, by a group of students who were a part of an organization called the society of St. Vincent DePaul. And it was started, um, here on Xavier's campus. And October of 2019, uh, two students went to Mr. Wright and just shared with him that they wanted to start a food pantry. A part of, uh, the charisms for St. Vincent DePaul is to help the poor. And this is our way of trying to help the poor on Xavier's campus. So we didn't realize the number of students who needed help, um, with buying food or, or just having food and personal hygiene stuff available for them. So we started the pantry and we have been growing every year as a result of that. And students really, really needed. Um, we didn't know to what extent, but since we've been open, it has been used.

[03:29] Lisa Mclain: Oh my gosh! First of all, um, we always need volunteers. Um, and we try to break it off into different sections. We need a group of people to come in and to do cleaning and to sanitize everything. Then we need another group of people to come in and to help stock the shelves, make sure that we have everything in order, make sure that we have, um, the dates, uh, that stuff are up to date. And if it's something that has expired, we need to remove it. We have inventory people to put stuff in the computer so we can know what we have in the pantry, how much we have in the pantry, and if we need to purchase other things. And then in addition to that, we have, um, a group of people who come in and they prepackage the items, uh, as students make their request. And then, uh, we have distribution where we're passing the items out. As people come on, the days that they tell us they want to receive the items. We have a lot of paperwork that we have to take care of. Um, because we have the document that we are using the pantry. We have to document how many students are using it. It's open for students, faculty, and staff. So whoever is in need, we don't question. We just asked you to fill out the application and then you could come as often as you need to come.

[04:53] Lisa Mclain: Well, Um, believe it or not, after our students paid tuition, pay for their books, um, if you have housing, your parents paying for housing, or you're paying for housing, a lot of our students live off campus, so they're trying to pay rent. And by the time they finished paying that paying utilities are paying for everything else. They rarely have a lot of money left over for food. So, uh, rather than that, you know, uh, the Ramen noodles that everybody talks about students love, I don't think students really like that. I think students just don't have a choice. So we're trying to provide an opportunity for them to have a food that is more nourishes will, um, to help them and their studies as well as better for their bodies. You know, so we try and hear fresh produce. We have the Gumbo garden who gives us, um, um, kale and lettuce and other types of green, um, vegetables that will help your body and help brain. And we also try and provide milk, eggs, and juice, um, cheese and stuff like that for our students, um, frozen fruit to make your smoothies and that kind of stuff. And, um, more than just Ramen noodles, you know, we have canned goods, we have fruits, we have vegetables, we have pastas, we have, um, grits and oatmeal and we have some snacks and so forth. So hopefully we can take a walk over to the pantry and you could get a sense of the things we have.

[06:32] Lisa Mclain: Something, um, never, ever be embarrassed if you don't have something. Um, I believe that we are our brothers and our sisters keepers. And in order for us to make it, we all have to make it together. So this food pantry is for you guys. Um, don't be afraid. Don't be shy if you need it. It is available for you. Um, that's one of the reasons why we started it because we know that there are students out there who need it. We've had students who come in and literally just cry because they didn't know this was available and it was free for them, but people love you. They want to see you succeed. And this is our opportunity to try and help them.


7:17 (7 minutes 10 seconds)


Nuela Fonmedig


Nuela Fonmedig


Date Added
February 24, 2021
Item Type
Moving Image
Nuela Fonmedig , “Vincent's Vault Food Pantry,” MY NOLA, MY STORY , accessed June 25, 2022,