Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen Gets A Makeover, Upgrades

ROCK HILL, S.C. – Each day, Rock Hill’s Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen serves on average more than 150 people in need around York County.

For more than 30 years, staff and volunteers work hard to prepare hot meals, sandwiches and snacks.

Now, the Restaurant Facility Management Association has selected Dorothy Day for some much-needed improvements to better serve the community.

“This year, we were the lucky ones chosen and we have been so thrilled and humbled by everybody that came down,” said Jan Stephenson, Dorothy Day director.

At least 55 volunteers from all across the country with the Restaurant Facility Management Association came to Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen to give it a boost.

Annually, the association holds a conference in a different state. It then chooses a nonprofit from the surrounding area that’s eligible for improvements.

“We had to compete with different nonprofits and eventually we were, eventually chosen to one of the final 3, and then we were chosen to the final one, and it’s an opportunity that I’m pretty proud of,” Stephenson said.

Volunteers with RFMA installed new LED lights in the building, put up roller shades, did some rewiring and painted rooms. They also donated a convection microwave and landscaped the soup kitchen front yard, St. Mary Church and the Convent.

“It would be nice have air conditioner in there so when we come in there during the summer, we aren’t sweating so much,” said Chris Petrasek, Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen volunteer. I mean, it just makes it comfortable, more appealing.”

“The RFMA all donated their own time, they’re resources,” Stephenson said. “They came down for the weekend. Some of them even had to go back home to quarantine for 14 days because they came into South Carolina.”

Whether Dorothy Day staff is whipping up a green bean casserole or keeping the building clean, they say the upgrades will make their tasks easier to better serve those who walk through its doors.

“It’s just nice to be able to help. I mean you see some people that that really need the help and it’s just a great feeling to know that you’re helping, that you’re making someone’s day a little better, a little brighter,” Petrasek said.

News also came out that Dorothy Day received $35,000 from an anonymous source to replace its 50-year-old roof, something that needed to be done before the restaurant facility management association can put in new tiles.



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