CINCINNATI -- The founder of Our Daily Bread, the largest soup kitchen in the Greater Cincinnati area, has died.
Ruth “Cookie” Vogelpohl died Saturday at the age of 75.
Vogelpohl founded Our Daily Bread in Over-the-Rhine in 1985, and the facility continues to serve the community -- providing social services, kids clubs, shelter and warm meals to those in need.
"She was loving more than anything, and encouraged everyone to do the same," her niece, Heather Iannelli, said.
Lamonica Sherman of the St. Vincent de Paul Winton Terrace office called Vogelpohl "an angel sent by God."
"Just hearing her talk, you could hear the passion that she had with the mission that she was doing," Sherman said. "She was really somebody who walked and talked the mission."
Our Daily Bread serves an average of 400 meals a day, and the soup kitchen fed almost 100,000 people in 2015 alone.
Georgine Getty, the executive director of Our Daily Bread, said Vogelpohl started the group after seeing a man eating from a garbage can.
"She said, 'That's just not OK. That's not OK in my city, not OK in my neighborhood, and that's not how human beings should be treated,'" Getty recalled. "And she saw the need to reach out to people and really provide them what they needed to be fully human, fully dignified and fully loved."
Getty said the group hopes to continue Vogelpohl's work.
"The best way to honor her legacy is exactly what you see right now: keep working, keep serving food, keep donating food, keep cooking it, keep cleaning up afterward, wiping down tables, saying 'It's good to see you. Here's a cup of coffee,'" Getty said. "And that's how we honor Cookie's legacy."
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m.- 11:45 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph Church on Ezzard Charles Drive.
Donations can be made in Vogelpohl’s honor to Our Daily Bread.