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Cleveland nonprofit celebrates one year of 'feeding the soul'

The group launched from inside a hotel room last spring.

CLEVELAND — For many local families, COVID-19 caused a number of setbacks. But one local group kept many people from being alone in Cleveland.

Alesia Corpening said she came up with the idea while living in a hotel room at the beginning of the pandemic. She decided she wanted to help families who were hungry.

Identifying eight families at first, Corpening gathered volunteers to take food, toiletries, hygiene items, clothing, and fresh produce to their doorsteps. Thanks to assistance from foundations and grants, she was able to eventually assist more than 1,000 families, even connecting some to therapy services.

On Saturday, Corpening celebrated her nonprofit’s one-year milestone at the King Kennedy Boys and Girls Club, where she told 3News the giving will continue in 2021 and beyond.

"We're getting ready to open up our own community center and food pantry in the Central neighborhood," Corpening said. "We have definitely grown with the help of so many supporters, whether it was The Cleveland Foundation, Environmental Health Watch, Create Our Nonviolence, so many people, the Sisters of Charity, just so many people have just come out to make this possible."

The group is now known as "Feed the Soul," and services have expanded to the city’s west side. Corpening hopes to have her permanent pantry up and running this summer and to continue services to homes as well.

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