The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 26, 2013

Church to host Family Kitchen

Dave Sutor

JOHNSTOWN — The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Family Kitchen is going to soon temporarily relocate.

Currently, the Roman Catholic charity feeds Johnstown’s needy in a dining hall at 231 Bedford St. But the facility is about to undergo a major renovation. So, from June 1 until probably sometime in July, it will be closed. During those weeks, the society will use First Presbyterian Church’s reception hall for its kitchen. The church is located at 309 Lincoln St., approximately a half-mile away from the Bedford Street spot.

“We wanted to be able to continue to serve the community during the construction,” said Amanda Maust, a volunteer with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown’s St. Vincent de Paul chapter.

First Presbyterian Church offered its hall after learning the society was having difficulties finding a temporary location.

“That was great, a very Christian thing to do,” said Sonny Consiglio, the local St. Vincent chapter’s executive director.

Providing the church’s basement as a home for the kitchen is part of First Presbyterian Church’s commitment to helping the people of Johnstown.

“One of the things that we’re trying to do more and more of is reach out to the community, since we’re in downtown,” said Ruth Fisher, the church’s mission committee chairwoman. “This is one of the things we can do for the community.”

Several individuals from the church already have volunteered to spend time working in the kitchen, where an estimated 200 meals per day will be served. “We’re very happy to help them,” Fisher said.

The Family Kitchen will return to Bedford Street when the majority of construction is completed. The plan is to enlarge the cooking area, get new appliances, install a floor and fix the electrical system.

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