Sunday, November 8, 2009

Celebrity chef Ray helps ailing Ohio city


WILMINGTON, Ohio, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Celebrity TV chef Rachael Ray said she paired with singer Nick Lachey to refit a soup kitchen in the struggling city of Wilmington, Ohio, a makeover.

The Food Network celebrity said Wilmington is losing thousands of job in 2009 due to the departure of DHL Express and other Wilmington Air Park operations, the city's residents were in desperate need for assistance from local food pantries, the Cincinnati Enquirer said Saturday.

"This town has been devastated," Ray said. "We want to do something for them that will last much longer than one meal, one day."

To that end, Ray and Lachey helped refit a local soup kitchen with new appliances, furniture and shelving to aid in food operations.

Ray's talk show, "The Rachael Ray Show," also agreed to provide Our Father's Kitchen with food for the next year.

Lachey, a Cincinnati native, told the Enquirer he is hopeful helping the Wilmington soup kitchen will serve as inspiration to others.

"This is one community out of a multitude across the country that needs help," Lachey said, "and what I'm hoping is that this raises awareness about hunger and pushes people to go out in their own communities, help out."