LAMPASAS, TX — The only soup kitchen in Lampasas has shuttered its doors after code violations forced the location to close.
The Heart of Forgiveness Ministry is in need of some upgrades and repairs to be able to open again.
“We have to bring it up to fire code, we have to bring it up to sanitation code, restaurant code...all of it,” said Ginnefer Cook, the soup kitchen manager.
The soup kitchen is a major resource with about 100 people stopping by every week,
“It’s a greater need than most people realize,” said June Ellenburg, a volunteer.
They are $12,000 short to complete this necessary work.
The Lampasas soup kitchen first opened in November 2018 with the owner, Jolene McCord, excited to make a change.
"We knew we wanted to do something for the entire county and not just our own church body and so we started talking about since the mission shared a parking lot that we could possibly have a soup kitchen," McCord said at the time.
The Heart of the Forgiveness soup kitchen was opened two days a week in 2018.
Now, the crew of volunteers say they are remaining optimistic that they'll open again.
“We’re trying to take it day by day. And we know God will provide. It’s just his timing and how,” said Cook.
Volunteers say they have been building bonds with those in need for about a year and a half as they cook from the heart.
“You become family and we are missing it because we haven’t been able to stay open,” said Cook.
Volunteers say they hope to open up again as soon as April.
Fire Chief Jeffrey Smith said in a statement:
"The City of Lampasas was contacted by the House of Forgiveness to assist in reviewing their plans to upgrade their facility. The representative of the House of Forgiveness stated that their intention was to begin preparing food at the location to decrease the cost of providing services. Currently the mission provides meals that are prepared offsite and warmed using crock pots or other warming devices. The Building Official and the Fire Marshal met with representatives and reviewed the plans that detailed what had been specified for the upgrades. The Fire Marshal made suggestions that actually decrease the cost of renovation by allowing a different type/model of hood to be installed over the cooking area. At no time did the city staff inform the House of Forgiveness that they could not continue to operate in the manner they currently were."
Along with monetary donations, the soup kitchen is also accepting non-perishable food donations.
To make a difference, call (512)525-6898 or mail donations to: P.O. Box 1089 Lampasas, Texas 76550.