Sheetz rebuilds soup kitchen to honor Kalos

HUNTINGDON — Michele Rupert was looking for a way to honor her father.

So she contacted officials of Sheetz Inc. for whom James Kalos worked as a store manager in Hunting­don for 46 years before retiring in October.

As a way of honoring him, Sheetz completely upgraded the kitchen of the Hunting­don Soup Kitchen where Rupert is the director.

“I read a story in the Mirror about Sheetz, what they do to help feed the hungry, how they donate money to food pantries. I asked if they would help us improve the kitchen to honor my dad for his 46 years of service. They immediately said yes. Instead of helping us, they completely redid the kitchen,” Rupert said. “I was more than impressed, they went above and beyond what I had hoped for. It’s been a godsend to have these new appliances.”

Sheetz Inc. has forged a partnership with Feeding America to provide weekly food donations in every district Sheetz serves across Pennsylvania, as well as in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland.

“We do these kind of projects from time to time. We get a lot of requests. She wanted to honor him, and we were able to fix up the kitchen. It made a lot of sense,” said President/Chief Operating Officer Travis Sheetz.

During the week before Christmas, Sheetz put in new appliances — a new convection oven, a free standing griddle, a six-burner gas grill with an oven, a three-bay sink and garbage disposal. Sheetz employees installed the equipment, ran the gas lines and did the plumbing and electrical work.

“We donated about $9,000 in equipment and another $9,000 in labor,” Sheetz said.

“We make a lot of donations every year; community involvement is a big part of what Sheetz is. We just don’t seek the recognition,” said spokesman Nick Ruffner.

“She wanted to make sure we were recognized,” Sheetz said.

Kalos was recognized at a surprise dinner this week at the soup kitchen.

“He was our first out-of-town manager. The older managers helped form the culture of the company, what it has become today,” Sheetz said. “He is a great customer service guy; everyone in the community knows him.”

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.