Clean-up continues at vandalized soup kitchen

Clean-up continues at the St. Francis of Asissi Soup Kitchen in Harrisburg after it was shut down by vandals three days ago.

“The clean-up crew has now finished the dining room and they have now gone into the kitchen, which is the hardest hit area because everything has to be cleaned off,” said Johathan Palmer, the soup kitchen director known to most as “Miss Chuckie.”

A white dust still covers the kitchen. Police say the vandals emptied two fire extinguishers in the basement of the soup kitchen Monday.

“The community has really stepped up in trying to help us,” Palmer said. “We feel we are trying to help the community and for them to try and give back to us is marvelous to me and I am very pleased. It’s helped take away some of the anger I feel about the whole situation because I really was upset.”

There have been dozens of individual donations. A Marysville church dropped off bags of food to help feed the hundreds of people who come to the kitchen every day.

There was also an anonymous donor.

“He took me over to the Restaurant Store so I was able to get new pots and pans and things that we needed, which is just marvelous,” Palmer said.

Police are still looking for the culprits. If they are ever caught, Palmer says she she knows what to do.

“We come in here every day and cook for 200 or more people, and to have someone just take that away, that is what bothers me more than anything else,” she said. “Whoever is responsible should be made to come in here and work and see what we go through to try and provide.”

The soup kitchen should reopen Monday. They are hoping to raise money to put in a security system.

If you would like to help by donating time, food or money, call the St. Francis Soup Kitchen at 717-236-4506 or the church office at 717-232-1003.

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