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Soup kitchens in Panther Valley looking to expand operations

Published November 03. 2011 05:01PM

A planned network of soup kitchens in the Panther Valley will now be called "Feed the People."

Organizers recently changed the name from Panther Valley Kitchen in anticipation of expanding beyond the four towns that comprise the Panther Valley, said organizer Rita Trucios.

Feed the People is being organized by a group of volunteers who also work at the Shepherd House-Lansford food pantry and the Summit Hill Heritage Center.

The food pantry is not associated with Feed the People.

"The name change came about because the names chosen Carbon County Kitchen or Panther Valley Kitchen confused people." Trucios said. "Since we plan expand at some point a noncounty name would not hamper us. Thus Feed the People."

St. John's Slovak Lutheran Church, Lansford, and the Summit Hill Heritage Center have offered to host the kitchens, which will provide free soup and sandwich meals to those in need. Christ the Redeemer church in Coaldale is also interested, according to organizers.

Trucios said the group is in the process of applying for nonprofit status, and has been promised insurance. But help is needed.

"Our fundraising is going slowly but going. We have a house filled with bric-a-brac, lamps, etc. that has been given to us. So we are very busy trying to find a place to store and then to have a rummage sale," Trucios said. "Needless to say and volunteers to pack with cars/trucks to help us move the stuff."

She said the group is aiming to open the first kitchen within months.

"We are determined to open our doors by January 2012. This should help our community members when the holiday bills start coming in," she said.

Those wishing to help get the project on its feet may send donations to Feed the People, c/o Summit Hill Heritage Center,1 West Hazard Street Summit Hill, PA 18250.

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