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Lions get stove for Long Beach soup kitchen

The Long Beach Food and Friendship INN had been serving hot meals to the hungry without a stove since moving to West Pine Street in 1993.

"We were cooking using microwaves, steamers, fry pans, griddles and roasters," said treasurer Earliene Shipper.

That was until a month ago, when the Long Beach Lions Club pulled together enough donations to find and install an industrial stove for the soup kitchen, which couldn't afford to buy one.

"They had been using these plug-in electric heaters," said Len Torres, a city councilman and Lions Club member. "We just felt that first of all it was dangerous, and that there's no reason why we couldn't all pull our resources together and help."

Shipper said Lions Club member Michael Kerr, who owns a fire protection service company, found the stove while remodeling a kitchen. Local businessmen Paul Leone and Michael Hills donated electrical and cleanup work, respectively, and Charles A. McAvoy Inc. donated plumbing.

On Wednesday, Shipper and fellow volunteers plan to formally thank the Lions Club at the soup kitchen, which serves lunch weekdays from noon to 12:30 p.m.

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