Our Father's House Soup Kitchen

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The Our Father's House Soup Kitchen is a non-denominational Christian ministry and soup kitchen in Pompano Beach, Florida. It was established in 1992 by Points of Light Award winner Jimmy Rotonno who claimed he had a spiritual experience of Jesus who asked him to "Feed my people". In 1999 the Kitchen was awarded a $100,000 grant from United Parcel Service which was used to purchase commercial kitchen equipment. In 2003, it was estimated that the Kitchen served over 42,000 meals with the help of about 20 volunteers. Our Father's House is a tax exempt, IRS approved charitable organization[1] located in a poor neighborhood in Pompano Beach known as "The Hole". The Kitchen is staffed with both paid employees and unpaid volunteers. It has a five member board of directors. Co-founder Phyllis Rotonno is the executive director.

History[edit]

Jimmy Rotonno, World War II veteran and entrepreneur, established the Our Father's House Soup Kitchen in 1992 with the help of his wife, Phyllis, after they met with some homeless people through their church.[2] He stated that "I didn't like those people; they didn't like me".[3] A short time later he said he had a vision of Jesus who asked him to "Feed my people."[2][3][4] Raising money through cold calling of churches and individuals he found while reading the "society pages", the Kitchen gradually took shape.[2] When thieves stole all of the food in 1995, several community charities and businesses came to help.[5] In 1999, the Kitchen won a $100,000 grant from United Parcel Service that enabled the Kitchen to buy commercial restaurant equipment.[2] Governor Jeb Bush honored Jimmy Rotonno for his work at the Soup Kitchen by awarding him the Points of Light Award in August 2003.[3][6] Bush established the Points of Light program in 2000 to recognize an "exemplary volunteer, organization, or person".[6] A year later, Rotonno arrived at the Soup Kitchen for work. One of the volunteers noticed he was sick and insisted he go the hospital; he died two days later.[3] Phyllis Rotonno continues her work at the Kitchen and presently serves as its director.

Services[edit]

Volunteers and patrons finishing the lunch line.

The Our Father's House Soup Kitchen provides meals, clothes and some financial help to pay rent and electric bills on a case by case basis.[3] Soup Kitchen services are made possible through donations of individuals, local businesses and churches.[3] The Kitchen performs only minimal fund raising activities.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Our Father's House Soup Kitchen". watchdog.net. Retrieved 23 October 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d Fleshler, David (17 July 2004). "Jimmy Rotonno, 79, Started Soup Kitchen". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. pp. 8B. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Nolin, Robert (20 August 2003). "Service and a Smile Gov. Bush to Honor Operator of Pompano Soup Kitchen". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. pp. 3B. 
  4. ^ Kelly, Lane (3 January 1999). "Jimmy Rotonno". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. pp. Sunshine Magazine. 
  5. ^ Kelley, Lane (26 August 1995). "Thieves Rob Soup Kitchen, Founder Still Believes He Can Feed The Poor". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. pp. 3B. 
  6. ^ a b Berrios, Jerry (20 August 2003). "Hero in the Spotlight". The Miami Herald. pp. 1B. 

External links[edit]