COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Starting in the new year, Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church will adjust its service times for Loaves and Fishes and Turning Point.
Loaves and Fishes received an extension to remain at the church until March.
Effective Jan. 1, 2024, Turning Point will expand its operating hours from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., while Loaves and Fishes will shift its dinner service from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., as opposed to the current time of 5 p.m. to 6 p.m, church council member Lynn McMorris told ABC 1.
McMorris said the adjustments were necessary to accommodate everyone involved, as there were no alternative locations available to host Loaves and Fishes. The church aims to prevent loitering in the neighborhood through these changes.
"This accommodation just seemed to work rather than to have individuals loitering between 3:30 p.m and 5 p.m," said McMorris.
When asked if there was space in the church for guests to stay to avoid loitering, McMorris responded, "We don't have that many volunteer hours that we can accommodate making sure everyone is safe on the property during that time. And so this was the best way that we could think of to do that."
As the holiday season approaches, the church is experiencing an uptick in guests participating in its services. Members note that there is a need for more volunteer staff, leading to occasional plate shortages. Efforts are underway to increase the quantity of food prepared to address these situations.
The future housing arrangements for Loaves and Fishes beyond March are still being negotiated through the city.