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A Look Back at People and Events in the News : Soup Kitchen Gets Its Just Desserts

October 12, 1986|DEAN MURPHY

When St. Joseph's Table opened in Wilmington last May as the South Bay's second soup kitchen, director Mike Larranaga complained that very few businesses had come forward to support it.

"I am a little disappointed there hasn't been more response," said Larranaga, after sending 2,000 letters to South Bay businesses requesting donations. "Even most of the oil companies haven't responded."

During the next five months, the soup kitchen grew, but contributions from the business community didn't. St. Joseph's served 2,200 hot lunches during the month of May. Last month, the number jumped to 4,000. In July, the soup kitchen expanded and opened a food pantry. During the first three months of operation, the pantry distributed 3,323 pounds of food to 201 needy families.

Last week, however, good news arrived from the business community in the form of money and a vehicle.

On Tuesday, Larranaga accepted a check for $3,500 from the American Can Co. of Carson and he announced that employees of Dancer Fitzgerald Sample Dorland, an advertising agency in Torrance, had purchased a used Toyota pickup truck from the agency and donated it to St. Joseph's. Some employees already volunteer in the soup kitchen on Saturdays.

The two donations were the largest yet from area businesses, Larranaga said.

A gift of $1,000 from American Can Co. will be used for the soup kitchen, and $2,500 will go toward replenishing can foods for the pantry, Larranaga said. The pickup truck, which cost $2,700, will be used to collect food and other contributions, he said. The advertising firm will pay to have St. Joseph's logo painted on the side, he said.

"This is very important for us," Larranaga said. "We depend on donations. I wish there were more organizations like these."

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