New truck given to ‘Soup Ladies’ group that helps first responders

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KING COUNTY -- The Soup Ladies are a local volunteer organization that provides warm meals to first responders.  On Wednesday, though, the roles were reversed, and it was the community showing support for them.

This past winter took a toll on the Soup Ladies. It was a struggle to transport warm meals because their two trucks were not reliable.

So when the Maple Valley Rotary Club asked Ginger Passarelli what she needs to continue the work she does, the answer came right to her.

"I kind of was embarrassed to say 'We really need a truck,'" she said.

For a few months, Kelly Hand and the rest of the rotary club went to work, raising thousands of dollars to help get Ginger and the dozens of other Soup Ladies a new set of wheels.

"It's important because she helps so many people," Hand said.

On Wednesday, first responders from across the region came out in full force to present Ginger with the keys to a brand new truck.

"It's very humbling, I'm humbled," she said.

While Ginger and the Soup Ladies will take the wheel, the truck is not for them.

"It's a gift for our first responders out every day, protecting us."

The Soup Ladies rally, mobilize and support police, firefighters, military and other first responders who are busy working when disaster strikes. They spent 16 days feeding crews after the Oso landslide hit in 2014. They also traveled down to Chico, Calif., last year to help feed crews battling wildfires.

The total cost of the truck is about $45,000. The rotary club raised about half and paid for the rest out of pocket. A GoFundMe page has been set up for those who want to donate to help cover the cost of the truck.

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