- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—SHAMOKIN — God’s Chuck Wagon Mobile Soup Kitchen is getting new, larger digs to help with its ever-growing service to others — and it’s free.

The building that housed Nash’s Bakery at 600 W. Pine St. has been donated by owner David Lupold, of Trevorton, to the nonprofit.

“We had heard that the pastor was looking for a new place and we had this for sale for a while,” Lupold said Monday. “We had people look at it, but nothing serious.”

His wife, Mary, suggested the donation after learning about God’s Chuck Wagon needs through its Facebook page.

“We decided since he needed a building to continue to run the Chuck Wagon, we would give it to him,” Lupold said.

Pastor Jim Bowers, who operates the soup kitchen with his wife, Janet, is happy for the gift to his organization.

They won’t be moving in right away, however.

“There is a lot of work to be done,” he said Monday while standing inside the former bakery with his wife.

That’s apparent. A major project will be to repair the roof, which partially collapsed in April.

“We are trying to get help to repair the hole in the roof and the whole back wall of the building needs to be replaced,” Jim Bowers said.

“We are praying we will be in at least the bottom half in six to eight months,” he added. “The top half may take a little longer.”

Better service

The new location will eventually better fit God’s Chuck Wagon’s needs in serving 700 people a week in communities in Northumberland and Schuylkill counties. They’ll be able to use industrial cooking equipment.

“Right now we are feeding 700 people a week, and I only have one household stove to work with,” Janet Bowers said.

In the long term, the Bowers plan to expand what they offer to the public.

“We are going to reopen the bakery, which will bring income to help support us,” Jim Bowers said. “Upstairs we plan on turning the three apartments on the second and third floors into a boarding house that will also help support our efforts.”

Their current home base is the former St. Joseph’s rectory on Chestnut Street in Coal Township, the use of which is being donated by Our Lady of Hope Church. The Bowers would like to extend their gratitude to the church for its continued use.

Jim and Janet are reaching out to anyone who wants to help fix their new location through either monetary donations or manual labor.

Visit godschuckwagon.com or call Bowers at 570-492-2392 to make a donation or volunteer.

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(c)2015 The News-Item (Shamokin, Pa.)

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