COSTA MESA — Members of a national restaurant association combined their industry savvy to give a Costa Mesa soup kitchen one big treat: a $100,000 makeover.
Volunteers from the Restaurant Facility Management Assn. renovated Someone Cares Soup Kitchen on 19th Street.
They knocked down walls, converted an old freezer into a walk-in refrigerator, created a new storage area, installed an ice machine and dishwasher, replaced ceiling tiles and added stainless steel prep tables. Workers came in when the kitchen closed at 5 p.m., and worked until 1 or 2 a.m. so there was no disruption in service.
The remodel was completed in less than a week.
"It was like we were an angel that dropped out of the sky," said Tracy Tomson, the executive director of the association. "They didn't know we existed, had no idea. They had a wish list of things they wanted to do and were beginning to think about fundraising and we sort of descended upon them. We took their little list and we doubled it."