Author Archives: Paul Schliesser


Catholic Charities AwardIn 2016, the Over-The-Rhine Kitchen was honored as a Champion of Mercy by Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio, who referred to the work of the Kitchen as “humbling” and “inspiring.”  We were moved by OTR Board member Sr. Aloyse Gerhardstein who nominated us for this honor.  The mission of the Kitchens and Pantry is consistent with Catholic Charities’ focus on engaging our community to see God’s love for the poor; serving and inviting the community to serve the poor; and empowering the community so all God’s children rise from spiritual and material poverty.


 Grateful  Thankful  Blessed 

Dear Friends,

We are enjoying the fall and feeling very grateful for you, our dear friends and supporters.  This has been an eventful year in getting OTR Kitchen back in service and rolling out our hygiene program at the Pantry.  Both were received with big excitement from our guests who count on us to help them make ends meet each month.

$2.08/meal  Did you know we are able to stretch your gift and serve one meal for only about $2.08 – How!?!  Because many people, groups, and companies provide food and supplies, volunteer, donate, and serve. That means your gift of $600 will serve a meal to every guest one day; $50 will serve a meal to two dozen guests.

Your donations are tax deductible and 92% of each gift goes directly toward our programs.  Please visit  clicking on “Make a Donation” or send a check to: OTR and WH Kitchens and Pantry, P.O. Box 6045, Cincinnati, OH  45206.

Wishing you and your family a warm and blessed Thanksgiving,

Patricia Wakim, Executive Director

Better Business Bureau® 2015 Nonprofit Torch Award Winner for Marketplace Ethics

Cincinnati, Ohio (October 30, 2015) Over-the-Rhine & Walnut Hills Kitchens and Pantry of Cincinnati was named as winners of the 15th Annual BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics in the Pavilion Ballroom at the Horseshoe Casino, Thursday, October 29.IMG_1788

“Our winners take great pride in ensuring an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust one another. This honor is earned through an exhaustive self evaluation. The end result is an extraordinary recognition from their peers and the community,” said Jocile Ehrlich, President and CEO of BBB.

Accolades for the winners, punctuated by applause were well deserved after successfully completing a thorough self-evaluation of ethical practices and policies. Each application was carefully reviewed by a third party judging panel for a final selection, culminating in a glamorous celebration hosted by The Center for Ethics at BBB.

“On behalf of Fr. Thomas Bokenkotter, our board of directors, staff and guests, we are clearly humbled and proud to receive the 2015 Marketplace Ethics Award for non profits. There are no words to express our gratitude or how much we appreciate the BBB and the judges’ acknowledgement of our organization and the population that we serve,” said Patricia Wakim, executive director.

The OTR Kitchen, the oldest soup kitchen in Cincinnati, remains as vital a part of Cincinnati as it has been since its 1976 beginnings. Founded by Fr. Thomas Bokenkotter, the OTR Kitchen grew out of a trip he made to New York City. Seeing needy people lined up for meals at Dorothy Day’s House of Hospitality in New York City inspired him to begin a similar mission in Cincinnati in January, 1976.

Fr. Bokenkotter has often reflected on the plight of the kitchen’s “guests.” He has stated that there are many reasons why people are caught in the trap of extreme poverty. However, while we are looking for answers, everyone can do their part to alleviate some of the suffering. This thought is what inspires our staff and volunteers to continue the work at the Over-The-Rhine Kitchen.


ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. People turned to BBB in 2014, more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB Serving Southern Ohio, Northern Kentucky, Southeastern Indiana, founded in 1926 and serving 20 counties, is one of 113 local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico.