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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Council pledges $10,000 to new soup kitchen plan

Monday, November 19, 2012

By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer

Stepping Stone Mission got a boost Tuesday night from Rocky Mount Town Council when it voted unanimously to donate $10,000 to the mission's effort to acquire land for the construction of a permanent soup kitchen.

The mission currently operates a soup kitchen out of the American Legion building on Diamond Avenue in Rocky Mount.

JoAnne Patterson, executive director and founder of Stepping Stone Mission, said the mission has raised $50,000 toward the establishment of a permanent soup kitchen.

Patterson is working to buy property on West Court Street on the back side of Warren Street on which to build a facility that would house a soup kitchen. A local bank owns the property and is willing to sell it for $100,000.

Patterson is currently negotiating with the bank to obtain a loan with which to buy the land.

Town council's agreement to donate $10,000 toward the project, however, has some stipulations that must occur before the money is donated.

Those stipulations are that Patterson is successful in getting the loan and that council will not release the $10,000 to Stepping Stone until closing on the loan and property is completed.

Council member Ann Love made the motion for council to donate the $10,000.

Council member Bobby Cundiff noted that the mission "does a lot of good in this town."

Stepping Stone Mission has been in operation for about six years. The soup kitchen's funding comes from donations from individuals, churches and area businesses. It's staff consists of volunteers.

Each month, the soup kitchen serves over 1,250 meals to more than 250 persons.

Patterson has said the need for a new facility is because the American Legion building does not have adequate space, lacks storage facilities and a freezer, among other limitations.

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