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Soup kitchen destroyed earlier this month relocates to fire station

Union Leader Correspondent

April 17. 2018 8:57PM
Rotarians Barbara Lizotte, of Hampton Falls, and Lori Clark, of Hampton, served meals at the Hampton Beach Fire Department Monday evening. After the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen burned down earlier this month, fire officials offered to host the kitchen until May 15. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

HAMPTON — A soup kitchen that was destroyed in a three-alarm fire earlier this month was reopened Monday evening at the Hampton Beach Fire Station.

A rack of bread and other items were available for people to take home, and local desserts were provided by Shaw’s.

Rotary Coordinator Barry Salloway said the local Rotary Club chapter has been working at the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen since 2005.

The kitchen is open Monday to Friday from Oct. 15 to May 15 for those in need in the seaside community.

Salloway said when Rotarians learned about the soup kitchen and six apartments being destroyed in the blaze on Ashworth Avenue, they immediately wanted to take action.

“No one should go hungry in Hampton,” Salloway said.

Donna Abisi, of Hampton, is a volunteer with the rotary.

“I think the most important thing is that people have food so we’re happy to serve. There’s lots of families that have a hard time,” Abisi said.

Abisi pointed out the framed replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” which survived the blaze. It is now hanging at the fire station above donated tables, chairs and refrigerator.

“It’s Hampton’s own little miracle,” Abisi said.

Jim Drelick, of Hampton, volunteers at the soup kitchen and is also a client. He said he enjoys coming down for the fellowship and is in charge of the coffee.

Drelick said there are normally at least 30 people being served, but between the nasty weather Monday and the new location, not as many came out.

Watching over everything Monday was Rusty Bridle, chair of the select board. He retired from the fire department after 30 years of service.

Bridle said getting the soup kitchen running was a priority.

“It’s good for the community. It’s good for the people,” Bridle said.

Now, Bridle said, the challenge is finding a permanent spot for the kitchen.

Paul Nicholson, president of St. Vincent de Paul Society of Hampton, said he is relieved the soup kitchen did not lose many nights of service.

Nicholson said there are a number of churches and community organizations that support the soup kitchen with volunteers.

Nicholson said there is a food pantry and clothes closet on the Miraculous Medal Campus. People interested in helping out the organization can call 929-4427.

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