Service Ministries
Service ministries
St. Patrick's Parish has pledged to be present in the community, both locally and globally, and strive to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. You can help in many ways: with your prayers, with your monetary contributions, and by donating your time to one of the organizations we sponsor. Scroll down to find out more about many opportunities for involvement.
  • Outreach
  • People's Kitchen
  • Respect Life
  • Get on the Bus
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Maryknoll Affiliates
St. Patrick's Outreach ministry is dedicated to serving people who are in need in the Five Cities and Nipomo areas. We are nondiscriminatory, and give assistance regardless of race, religion, or national origin. The Outreach Program was started by Sr. Eva over 20 years ago, and continues to thrive because of the spirit of service she inspired in St. Patrick's Parish community. Each month the Outreach Pantry distributes groceries to approximately 400 families. Christmas baskets, including food items and toys for children, are distributed to 400 families. In addition, last year over 350 families were given emergency financial assistance due to a crisis in their lives. Outreach also supports People's Kitchen with monthly funds and teams of volunteers.

The budget for Outreach depends entirely on monetary and food donations from members of St. Patrick's Parish Community, as well as donations from individuals and organizations in South San Luis Obispo County, and from our annual GALA fundraiser. The three coordinators of Outreach, Katie Hilton, Anita James, and Margot Ochoa, oversee the daily operation of the Food Pantry and meet with individuals who seek financial assistance. They are assisted by a large group of volunteers who help in a variety of ways.

Monetary donations supporting outreach can be sent to the Church Office or placed in the collection baskets. Please make checks out to St. Patrick's Outreach. Food items can be brought to weekend masses or dropped off at the Church office.

See a description of our activities to the right and below.
St. Patrick's Food Pantry is open from 4:00 - 5:00 in the afternoon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The pantry provides food for those in need living in the Five Cities and Nipomo areas.
Volunteers help in the following areas:
  • Drivers in the morning to the Santa Maria Food Bank and Trader Joe's in Arroyo Grande
  • Workers who unload deliveries and stock the shelves and refrigerators/freezers in the morning (Mon. Thurs.)
  • Workers who bag and distribute food items 3:30 5:00 in the afternoon (Tues. Thurs.)
  • Cleaning of pantry (once a week)
Volunteers are assigned days and times that fit with their personal schedules. Some volunteers just drop in whenever they are able. All are welcome.
Volunteers work with chairpersons in preparing and distributing 400 Christmas Baskets with food items for a Christmas dinner. This project begins the weekend of Thanksgiving and continues until the distribution date a week or so before Christmas.
Volunteers help in the following areas:
  • Sort donated food items
  • Collect and sort food from local food drives
  • Organize boxes
  • Fill boxes
  • Distribute boxes
This project provides Christmas gifts for children up to the age of twelve who are members of families receiving Christmas Baskets.
Chairperson(s) directs volunteers who:
  • Set up the Giving Tree in the entryway of the church or the First Sunday of Advent
  • Place gift tags on tree and keep it replenished for several weekends
  • Sort and organize gifts as they are brought to the church
  • Bag gifts so that they are ready for distribution along with Christmas Baskets
Volunteers work during the first three weeks of December.
The GALA Fundraising Committee plans, organizes, and hosts an annual fundraising event that provides half of the funds needed to keep Outreach running at St. Patrick's. This committee meets periodically throughout the year with a major push from January through April.
Volunteers help in the following areas:
  • Seek and obtain auction items
  • Create large raffle "baskets"
  • Sell dinner and raffle tickets
  • Organize the event
  • Run the event - auctions, entertainment, dinner, etc.

The People's Kitchen is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization consisting of over 20 local church groups and organizations that prepare and serve daily hot meals, fellowship and spiritual nourishment, 365 days a year to the needy in our community.
St. Patrick's Outreach ministry has six food preparation teams consisting of about 15 volunteers each. Each team serves one day per month and prepares food for 100 people.
For People's Kitchen Information, contact Diane Cotter or John and Dee Mass by calling the Parish Office
Respect Life and ALPHA
St. Patrick's Parish is committed to Respect Life from its beginnings in the womb to the moment our soul returns to the Father. We support San Luis Obispo ALPHA, a nonprofit organization that provides education on pregnancy, early parenting and practical assistance during pregnancy through a child's first year. Our Crib Project runs from Mothers Day through Fathers Day. We fill baby bottles with change and collect baby items to be given to the expecting mothers at the ALPHA center. Visit ALPHA's website at to find out more.
Get on the Bus
An annual event, Get on the Bus offers free transportation for children to visit their mothers and fathers in prison throughout California. Each child is provided a travel bag, a photo with his/her parent, and meals for the day. On the trip home they'll receive a teddy bear with a letter from their parent and post-event counseling. Each year St. Patrick's Church offers volunteers and donations to sponsor multiple busses. Visit the website at
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. This ministry was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent place to live in dignity and safety. St. Patrick's Church supports the San Luis Obispo County Habitat. Visit their website at
Maryknoll Affiliates
Maryknoll Missioners are a lay organization inspired by the mission of Jesus to live and work in poor communities in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, responding to basic needs to help create a more just and compassionate world. They care for the sick, comfort the afflicted and support the poor and marginalized in over 6 countries. They have taken up the work of creating sustainable social, educational, healthcare and economic change for people in need around the world. At St. Patrick's we are blessed to have parishioners who participate in this mission. Come to their meetings to learn more. Visit their website:
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them."
MATT 18:20