Soup Kitchen Closed After Theft

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A Franklinton Soup Kitchen that serves thousands of needy each month remained closed Thursday after compressors were stolen from a walk-in freezer.(Photo: Nick Mizesko)
A Franklinton Soup Kitchen that serves thousands of needy each month remained closed Thursday after compressors were stolen from a walk-in freezer.(Photo: Nick Mizesko)

By late morning a line had formed at Inner City Ministries at the corner of Souder and Sullivant, about six blocks from Holy Family. Volunteer Betty Whaley was bagging baloney- two slices in each plastic bag- to make sandwiches for the next two days. She says the forced closure of Holy Family kitchen is a “crisis” for the neighborhood.

“So many are out of work and we’ve got so many homeless everywhere. We just feed. We don’t turn anybody away that’s hungry,” says Whaley.

Outside, 32 year old Tina Danner is waiting in line for bread and other emergency food to feed her and her husband for about the next week. Danner says she used Holy Family’s soup kitchen and pantry more often when the couple was homeless. Now, she has permanent shelter and a source of income.

“I’m a scrapper, I go out and recycle scrap and all that stuff,” says Danner.

Danner and 47 year old Bartone Leftwich, who is also waiting for a mid-day meal, say people are angry about the theft.

“People done broke in the place and messed it up for everybody, that ain’t cool,” says Leftwich.

While Inner City Ministries, Faith Mission, and other emergency food providers pitched in to help those who normally go to Holy Family, The operators of Grubb Street kitchen say they’re working to replace the compressors and re-open as soon as possible. Mid-Ohio Food Bank spokeswoman Evelyn Behm says her agency will help to quickly replace the spoiled food.

“Oh we will do everything we can to re-supply as soon as those compressors are up and running. We will reach deep into our freezers and work with them independently to see what they need most to get them back on track as quick as possible,” says Behm.

In the meantime, a middle-aged gentleman who declined to give his name says he has a plan “B” for the day.

“Probably going back home to go to sleep.”

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