Soup kitchen in Ryan photo-op suffers ‘substantial’ loss of donations
A charity that operates a soup kitchen in northeastern Ohio has faced an exodus of donors ever since vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan staged a photo-op on the premises.
“It appears to be a substantial amount,” Brian Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society in Youngstown, told The Huffington Post. “You can rest assured there has been a substantial backlash.”
Ryan and his family were photographed cleaning dishes on the premises. During Ryan’s appearance at the soup kitchen on October 13, he briefly talked with volunteers before donning an apron and cleaning some large metal pots. He was at the soup kitchen for about 15 minutes.
But Antal told the Washington Post that the Romney campaign did not ask for permission before entering the soup kitchen. He said he worried his faith-based apolitical organization could lose funding if it appeared the charity favored one of the political candidates.
The photo-op ended up being an embarrassment for Ryan.
Now, Antal’s concerns appear to have been warranted. The charity, which is funded by private donations, has seen much of its money cut off, though Antal said he could not disclose the specific amount.
“I’m a volunteer,” Antal added. “I receive zero compensation. Withholding donations is only going to hurt the over 100,000 we serve annually.”