Poverty Program

Our Mission Statement

To alleviate hunger and malnutrition and assist families that have annual incomes up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.


We serve all who live in our service area regardless of religion, national background, race, age, sex or handicap.


We screen applicants and keep records on those receiving assistance. We assist those who are eligible become self-sufficient.

We pick up and distribute donations the same day to clients. We also network with accountable and responsible emergency food providers when we receive a surplus of perishable foods.


No food or non-food donations to the SS. Peter and Paul Poverty Program have ever been sold, bartered or transferred for money, services or other products.

The Board of Directors


Pastor  Rev. Hildebrand Garceau, O. Praem. 

President  Sr. Roberta Sprlakova, S. Praem.

Vice-President and Director of Operations  Mrs. Esperanza Angellano

*Please contact Office here for more information.


History and Mission


SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Wilmington, California instituted its Poverty Program in 1978. The program was administered until 2010 by members of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny who resided in the parish. It is now run by the Norbertine Sisters and Volunteer Lay members of the parish.


The purpose of the program is to provide subsistence services including food, clothing, medicine, and emergency rent to the very poor of this area. They serve all those who live in the service area, regardless of religion, national background, race, age, sex, or handicap.


Food is distributed three days a week (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday). Those requesting aid must show I.D. as well as rent receipts, utility receipts, or other paperwork indicating their current financial status, and then complete the required application form. Records are kept and verified to ensure that only the truly needy receive assistance. Families are monitored for their progress in attempting to improve their situations. Those who do not attempt to help themselves will lose privileges in the program. The goal is to help these families with physical, psychological, and spiritual help until they are able to provide for themselves.


A free medical clinic is operated in conjunction with the Wilmington Rotary Club and the First United Methodist Church of Wilmington. Qualified recipients will be referred to clinics for children's medical care, pre-natal care, medicines, etc. as needed.


The program serves the city of Wilmington and Harbor area communities.  The families served are those in the greatest need, who have incomes up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The emphasis in on women and children but the program has served homeless, the aged, the working poor, those who are unable to make ends meet, and increasingly, people who have been laid-off from long-time jobs and now find themselves destitute. Over 100 families are assisted weekly.


Staff and Source of Funding

The Program Director is Sr. Roberta Sprlakova, S. Praem. In addition, there are about 22 volunteers (most of them poor) who assist in the pick-up and delivery of food and services. The program is operated out of the parish convent with nominal overhead.

Ss. Peter & Paul Poverty Program is one the founders of the emergency food council of Southern California, the Pantry Providers, a bulk food buying co-op, and is one of the many community organizations that founded the San Pedro

Farmer's Market. They are part of a network of South Bay food providers who share resources and ensure that all donated food is put to good use.


Sts. Peter & Paul Poverty Program also participates in a variety of South Bay food programs and receives weekly surplus perishables from local supermarkets and from local bakeries. The ability to participate in these programs is limited by lack of transportation and storage space, and the fact that it distributes food only three days per week.


All non-food items such as blankets, clothing, rent assistance, and insurance are funded from private donations.

*ALL CHECKS MAY BE MADE PAYABLE TO: SAINTS PETER and PAUL CHURCH and in the memo portion (usually found in the lower left hand corner of the check) please write POVERTY PROGRAM. Thank you.

Why We Need Your Help


A contribution from you or your organization is requested to help us to continue to assist Ss. Peter and Paul Poverty Program in stabilizing families especially during this economic crisis.  The contribution would help to provide blankets, diapers, hygiene supplies, funeral assistance and rental assistance to approximately 11,000 persons.  The children vary in age from newborns, toddlers and preteens. The greatest emphasis is on the babies and younger children and also the pregnant moms.


In addition we also need functional office devices and equipment and monetary donations that will come a long way with all our needs for the entire year. Thank you and may God bless you and your loved ones.


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