COLUMBUS, Ohio - A member of UA Local 189 and Mechanical Contractors Association of Central Ohio and Johnson Controls recently provided the Holy Family Community Soup Kitchen & Pantry with the supply and installation of air cooled condensing/compressor units to replace those stolen from the two walk-in refrigerator and freezer units that are used to store food provided to those in need.

“We commend Johnson Controls and its branch manager Doug Emery for immediately stepping up to the plate and helping the Holy Family Community Soup Kitchen & Pantry so that it can continue to serve those in need in our community,” said Mike Kelley, business manager for UA Local 189.

During the early morning hours of May 24, thieves unbolted the condenser coil/compressor units from their concrete pads, cut the refrigeration lines and the live electrical cables, and hauled them away for scrap metal. The Holy Family Community Soup Kitchen made do for a little while, but eventually the food spoiled and had to be discarded and the operation temporarily shut down. This soup kitchen is one of the city’s busiest and serves 5,000 meals a day, so the impact to the community was immediate.

Eventually donations came in and a number of companies donated their time, services, and products to help the soup kitchen start to get back on its feet. Once Emery learned about the situation, Johnson Controls offered to repair the damage and replace the refrigeration units. Emery estimated he spent $5,000 to $10,000 from his branch budget to help the soup kitchen.

“I heard about the theft on the news on Tuesday morning after the Memorial Day weekend,” he said. “When I heard on Friday that they were still out of commission, I knew we had to do something. It tugged at my heart knowing that many in the community would go hungry and miss meals due to the actions of a couple of thieves.”

After a quick site visit with Francis Carr, director of the soup kitchen, and seeing their needs, Johnson Controls provided a quick solution. The service team and UA service mechanics Don Scheidegger, John Krupp, Butch Harvey, and Chad Gaskell worked all day Friday to get the soup kitchen back up and running and secure the units from future thefts, all at no charge.

“This is one of the many ways our members give back to the community through volunteering their time, services, and financial resources,” said UA’s Kelley.

Publication date:07/21/2008