Make a donation to our Lenten Outreach – Pharmacy of Hope


Pharmacy of Hope

Become a founding contributor in the SVDP Pharmacy of Hope, by making any donation amount. This is a free program for those that cannot afford prescription medicine. These pharmacies have been a great success in other parts of the country and Annunciation SVDP is bringing it to our local community. Shepherd’s Hope and Catholic Charities are encouraging this solution to a critical need.

The cost to set up the pharmacy is significant. We partner with the Dispensary of Hope. They work with Pharmaceutical companies and others to collect free prescription medications and distribute them through local community partners. Other St. Vincent DePaul locations have been operating for many years with wonderful stories of those that have been helped in their local community. That is our hope too. Please join us in this mission to serve those in need.

Would you like to be involved in the start of this project? We have two information sessions coming up on Wednesday, April 17th: 1030am and 7pm in the St. Gabriel Life Center. If you have a heart for this mission of this ministry and a skill to share, please join us for one of the sessions or contact us via email at  Thank you!

Read the MISSION of the SVDP Pharmacy of Hope in Seminole County


The Society of St Vincent de Paul is a Catholic lay organization that aspires to live the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope, and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society. To that end, the SVdP Conference at Annunciation Catholic Church, in collaboration with: the Diocesan Council of Orlando and SVDP conferences in central Florida, desire to established a one-of-a-kind community pharmacy in Altamonte Springs and surrounding communities to provide health sustaining prescription medications to uninsured, low-income individuals free of charge. We are working on 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation status and will be missioned to share God’s love by providing free prescription medications to those unable to afford them, because everyone deserves the dignity of access to health-sustaining prescription medications.


10% of Seminole County Residents (or 47,085 people) do not have health insurance according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  This is often due to not having employment, being homeless, or the working poor who cannot afford the premium charged through employer or benefits aren’t offered.  11% of Orange County Residents (or 157,290) do not have health insurance according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  10% of Floridians have no health insurance according to the U.S. Census Bureau therefore 1 in 9 Floridians (or 2.4 million people) could potentially be eligible for free medications.

According to the article “Key facts about the uninsured population” by Tolbert, Drake and DaMico published December 2023 by KFF, many uninsured people cite the high cost of insurance as is the main reason they do not have coverage. In 2022, 64% of uninsured non-elderly adults said that they were uninsured because the cost of coverage was too high. Many uninsured people do not have access to coverage through a job, and some people particularly poor adults in states that did not expand Medicaid, remain in eligible for financial assistance for coverage. Additionally, undocumented immigrants are in eligible for federally funded coverage including Medicaid or market place coverage.

Given this backdrop, there is a significant unmet need for access to health-sustaining prescription medications by lower-income, uninsured individuals, many of whom lack the financial ability to pay for the medications they desperately need to control their chronic health conditions. As a result, many prescriptions for asthma inhalers, blood pressure medicine, insulin, cholesterol and behavioral health medications and other health-sustaining medications go unfilled due to unaffordability. Many choose between food, shelter and medical care. Compared to the general population, these neighbors in need are significantly less likely to seek treatment for chronic diseases that are treatable with prescription maintenance medications.

The difference between constant, dangerous trips to the emergency room and sustained, improved health is access to affordable prescription medications. A similar pharmacy operated by the SVdP Council in Cincinnati, cited that for its patients who had diabetes, the risk of heart attack and stroke decreased by 40% after receiving access to free medication for diabetes management. Over a 6-month period, those who took their medications as directed (82%) decreased their number of hospital emergency room visits by nearly 30%.

Sustainable healthcare can mean the ability to show up for work on a regular basis, earning more income and becoming less likely to lose employment, thereby being able to pay rent, afford groceries, taking fewer trips to the emergency room and enjoying a longer, happier life.

In addition to these benefits for the recipients of our health-sustaining prescription medications, there are societal benefits as well. Those unable to pay for medical service all too often use hospital emergency rooms (the highest-cost option) as a medical home, requiring significant taxpayer funding and raising the cost of hospital services for those able to pay.

2022 Seminole County health report summarized community surveys with access two free or low cost health care services for our residence was among the list of priorities recognized by the officials.


Our goal is to help our neighbors sustain their health while they work towards a better quality of life and reduce early death and disability. The pharmacy will play a role in bringing down the cost of caring for the uninsured in our hospital systems by managing chronic conditions through medication management.

Our plan is to grow our service to those in need through additional pharmacy staffing and geographical outreach. The pharmacy is available to all individuals who:

  • have no health insurance coverage
    • have a household income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level • have a valid prescription
    • complete a brief simple application process

The business model of a charitable pharmacy is not new to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy has benefitted from the years of experience of other SVdP pharmacies around the country and is the ninth pharmacy location in the United States (ordered of establishment):

  1. Baton Rouge, LA 2. Biloxi, MS 3. Cincinnati, OH Houma, LA 5. Madison WI 6. Monroe, LA 7. Dallas, TX    8. Atlanta, GA


In addition to providing the prescriptions directly to patients, other SVDP Pharmacies have established collaborative relationships with charitable and safety-net clinics that make prescription medications conveniently available to a clinic’s uninsured patients by having the prescriptions delivered to the clinic for pick up, rather than requiring their patients to travel to our pharmacy for pick-up.

Under the collaborative relationship, a clinic patient designates its “medical home” clinic as his/her agent. In its capacity as agent, the clinic can receive medications dispensed by St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy for that patient, keep them in a safe location, and hand them to patient when she/he returns to the clinic, having the patient sign for the receipt of the prescription medications, thereby making the medications conveniently available to the patient.

For example, collaborative relationships with a number of clinics have been established in the Dallas area who is the leading model of this collaboration. Initially 56% of the prescriptions dispensed have been delivered to or picked up by collaborating clinics, enabling their patients to pick up their prescription medications at the clinic. Collaborating clinics and their distances from the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy include:

The some of the prescription medications dispensed by the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacies are donated to it through pharmaceutical company programs and charitable medication distributor programs.

A subscription fee is paid to the pharmacy’s largest source of medications, Dispensary of Hope (DOH), which helps reimburse the DOH program for the weekly costs of shipping medications to pharmacy members.

The SVdP pharmacy program in Cincinnati, Ohio, has demonstrated significant results in providing chronic condition medication, including:

o A decrease in the A1c levels of diabetic patients by a factor of two – translating to a 40% drop in heart attack and stroke risk

o An adherence of 82% to medication compliance
o A 30% reduction in emergency room visits after six months in the program o A decrease of 15% in hospital admissions

The St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy program can offer the chance for good health to those with chronic health conditions who often do not take the medications prescribed to them, primarily because they cannot afford them. The SVdP pharmacy fills this gap for many uninsured, low- income individuals and families in desperate need of good health – IT IS A GAME CHANGER.