The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 17, 2013

Contributions mount for Family Kitchen: $300G raised toward renovation project

Dave Sutor

JOHNSTOWN — By combining a lot of $5 and $10 donations with occasional big checks, the local Society of St. Vincent de Paul has raised two-thirds of the money needed to complete its Family Kitchen renovation project.

The organization recently surpassed $300,000 in contributions.

Constructing a new, state-of-the-art kitchen inside the building at 231 Bedford St. in downtown Johnstown is expected to cost $450,000.

Once completed, it will replace the current well-worn kitchen where cooks and other workers prepare approximately 150 no-cost meals per day for needy people in the region.

“It’s just been a great outpouring from the community,” said Sonny Consiglio, executive director of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown’s St. Vincent de Paul chapter.

The society will hold a fundraiser Saturday at Bishop McCort Catholic High School beginning at 6 p.m. More than 180 guests are expected to attend. Concurrent Technologies Corp. President and CEO Edward J. Sheehan is scheduled as the keynote speaker.

Several groups, such as CTC and Bishop McCort, are supporting the project.

Recently, the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies provided a $10,000 grant to the Family Kitchen. The money came from the foundation’s Community Initiatives Fund.

“We were very fortunate that they chose to get involved with us and get involved with the kitchen,” said Consiglio.

Foundation president Mike Kane added, “We’re very pleased to support them.”

The Darden’s Restaurant Community Grants program also made a financial contribution. St. Vincent has applied for funds from Lee Initiatives and Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Anyone looking to contribute funds can contact St. Vincent at 539-4627.

The organization is also looking for a site to temporarily house the Family Kitchen when construction work on the current location is taking place.