According to a press release, Loaves & Fishes of Tompkins County was officially air conditioned for the first time this summer after one resident took it upon herself to raise funding for the upgrade.
The local soup kitchen, which operates in the social hall of St. John's Episcopal Church, announced that it had been air conditioned for the first summer since its inception 36 years ago. The release from the organization thanked one resident in particular for their unprecedented efforts.
"When Sandy True heard that the soup kitchen wanted to buy some ceiling fans, she decided to raise $30,000 so it could go one step further and get air-conditioning," the statement said. "True learned of the soup kitchen’s need for air-conditioning through a grant request to Community Foundation of Tompkins County, and began calling friends to raise the money for the project. She and her husband, Jay, also donated $5,000 through a fund they had created at Community Foundation 16 years ago."
Loaves and Fishes originally planned to request funding from the Community Foundation of Tompkins County for four ceiling fans. Without the fans, the building could heat up quickly and severely during summer, sometimes reaching upwards of 80 degrees while serving meals to people in need.
“Nobody thought we could come up with the money for the air-conditioning,” said Rev. Christina Culver, executive director of Loaves & Fishes, in the release. “Then along comes Sandy, who said, ‘I can raise enough money to do this.’ We are very grateful for Sandy’s efforts and for the remarkably generous individuals whose gifts made our 36-year dream to cool the dining hall and kitchen come true.”
"There are a lot of people in Ithaca who are very philanthropic if they hear the story and hear the need," True said. "This was easy. We're feeding the needy and we're taking care of our elderly. If people are able to, they step up."