Jusst Sooup Ministry and Rev. Dale Dunning Can’t Serve Soup at Extreme Makeover Home Edition Ranch in Lewes
Jusst Sooup Ministry can’t dish out soup at its new ranch, but the Rev. Dale Dunning won’t rest on her ladles.
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The soup kitchen building contains the kitchen, a dining area, bathrooms and a storage area for clothing to be donated to those in need. A clothing drive during the build collected hundreds of items.
The kitchen is a far cry from Dunning’s crowded four-burner stove and former Lewes home. A gleaming 10-burner stove means she can now prepare more soup. There’s a walk-in freezer and rows of ladles and aprons hung neatly upon spoons bent into hooks by Lewes blacksmith John Ellsworth.
Large kettles are specially designed to tilt so the heavy pots don’t have to be carried by Dunning or her family members. Only the serving area has prompted controversy.
The day after the building was revealed on the show, community members came forward with gifts for the Dunning family and the ministry. Dunning’s husband, Ken, received a trailer and other equipment to help him with his lawn maintenance business. A local dentist offered free dental services to some of the Jusst Sooup patrons. Pest control and trash service were donated for the site. Smithfield donated 30,000 pounds of pork to be used by Jusst Sooup.
A $300,000 endowment fund was established for the Jusst Sooup Ranch and ministry—$100,000 of that was won by two “Extreme Home Makeover” designers competing on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
The Dunnings applied to the Sussex County Board of Adjustment for a special use exception, hoping to serve food at lunchtime on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, as well as on special occasions and holidays.
Schell said in his radio interview that the Dunning family applied for the exception because of an ice cream cooler in the soup kitchen. The cooler had a glass lid that would normally only be used if people were going to be served at the site, according to county officials.
Schell said that because of that donated appliance, the family was told that it could not receive a permanent certificate of occupancy unless the appliance was removed or the special use exception was granted.
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