Monday, November 9, 2009

TV star Rachael Ray helps reeling Ohio town


TV cooking star Rachael Ray helps struggling Ohio town still ravaged by loss of major employer

Photo credit: AP | Nick Lachey and Rachael Ray sit down for a dinner at the Roberts Convention Centre in Wilmington, Ohio during taping of The Rachael Ray Show Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009. The show fed nearly 2,000 people in the economically hard-hit area for a special which will air November 25. (AP Photo/Dayton Daily News, E.L. Hubbard)

WILMINGTON, Ohio - WILMINGTON, Ohio (AP) — Television cooking star Rachael Ray is boosting the local food supply for a struggling Ohio town.

On Saturday, Ray brought a Wilmington soup kitchen new appliances, shelves and furniture. Ray's show also promised to supply food for the kitchen for the next year.

The soup kitchen is getting as many customers in a day as it did in a week a year ago.

Wilmington is still reeling from the departure of DHL Express and other Wilmington Air Park operations, which has left a 15 percent local unemployment rate in its wake.

On Sunday, the Food Network star hosted an early Thanksgiving feast for the community. The soup kitchen improvements and the Thanksgiving meal are scheduled to be featured on "The Rachael Ray Show" on Nov. 25.