Ashton woman opens soup kitchen to serve people of Rochelle - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Ashton woman opens soup kitchen to serve people of Rochelle

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ROCHELLE (WREX) -

Tucked within the quiet cornfields outside Rochelle is a small, nondescript building. Without the sign you could easily drive by it.
But inside there's a warmth that reminds you of home.

Dishing it out is Carolyn Brown.

"We help feed people and when people needed help we would help," Brown says.

For Carolyn, leftovers don't exist.

"If we made a big pot of soup we shared," Brown says. 

For years Carolyn and her husband grant help feed people from their home. 

Their door, as is said, was always open.

"We all find ourselves in financial situations. We've been there," Brown says.

But Carolyn wanted to do more. She had dreams of finding a place to serve more than just a pot of soup. A couple years ago she found it.

"We actually bought it up for $6,000. That's how bad of shape it was in," Brown says.

But still an investment for a family that was not by any means rich.

Carolyn works at H&R block. Grant is a maintenance worker at Rochelle Foods.

Together, over three years-,they have invested a lot of sweat, hard labor and $80,000 of their own money.

"It's really about bringing our community back together," Brown says.

So far the community is showing support with their pocketbooks and time to help make her dream possible. 

"If anybody can do it she can because she just has the heart to make this happen," says Monetta Young.

On Thursday, The Kitchen Table began seating.

People who come in have three options. They can pay the price it cost to make the dinner, tonight's feature item is a Sloppy Joe, volunteer their time to help serve the food, or just enjoy the meal with the people around. No other questions asked.

"It's for everybody because it's really about bringing our community back together," Brown says. "Just help people, don't look at people as less than you because nobody is less than anybody."

Words likely to spread quickly around this and many more tables one serving at a time. 

Last Thursday was their first day. Volunteers served 111 meals and raised $1,500. They're open on Tuesday and Thursdays and already hope to expand.

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