Soup kitchen takes financial hit after Ryan photo-op flap

St. Vincent de Paul Press Conference

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Brian J. Antal, president of the local St. Vincent de Paul Society, discusses the society's position on political visits.

YOUNGSTOWN — The president of Mahoning County’s St. Vincent de Paul Society says the agency has taken a financial hit after his criticism of Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s visit to the soup kitchen made national news.

“The amount of people who called and said they were donors who would stop contributing is substantial,” said Brian J. Antal, who runs the society.

When asked for specifics, Antal said “donations are private,” but of the people who’ve called, “dozens have identified themselves” and are donors.

Ryan visited the soup kitchen last Saturday.

The woman who coordinates the dining hall for the poor gave Paul’s campaign permission to have the candidate and his family visit the facility.

Ryan ran late and missed the breakfast crowd. His campaign asked that a few pots and pans be kept dirty so Ryan and his family could be photographed cleaning them, said Juanita Sherba, St. Vincent’s Saturday coordinator for the dining hall.

In the last few days, Antal said the critical calls have been overtaken by those who support the organization with some offering to contribute money.

For the complete story, read Saturday’s Vindicator and

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