Some East Texas nonprofits are serving free, hot meals to a community while a salvation army temporarily suspends its nightly suppers.
Longview's Salvation Army said they plan to start serving those meals at the beginning of next year, however they are focusing their efforts on their Christmas program at this time.
Commanding Officer Major Ernest Lozano, said staff at the Longview Salvation Army feed about 30 people from the community every night and that is in addition to those they feed who are housed at the organization.
"We have temporarily suspended, and that's all this is, is a temporary suspension of our outside meal. We're still housing up to fifty people a night," Major Lozano explained.
The Longview Salvation Army said they have committed to providing a Christmas meal to more than 700 families. The organization also plans to give clothes and toys to about 2,100 children.
This commitment has spread staff pretty thin, which is why the temporary expansion is necessary, Lozano explained.
"So, in no way are we advocating or going back on our commitment to help the needy, it's just that the focus right now is making sure that this Christmas effort is successful," said Major Lozano.
Brett Foster works for House of Disciples, a nonprofit down the street from the Longview Salvation Army.
"We found out that the Salvation Army was going to concentrate their efforts in a different direction for a period of time through some of the homeless men we interact with. So, we saw it as an opportunity to step up and fill the gap," Foster said.
House of Disciples requested a temporary permit from the city to feed those who were left without when the Salvation Army suspended their outside meal service.
"When we can find a need like this to fill and to be Jesus unto these people and to maybe share a little love and attention that they may not normally get, you know, it was a great opportunity. So, we're all pretty excited," Foster explained.
House of Disciples said they will serve free, hot meals to the community Monday-Friday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. until the Salvation Army lifts their suspension.
Major Lozano believes they will be back up and running on January 2nd.
"For right now, our good friends, some of the other non profits in this community are stepping up and saying, 'nobody has got to go without'. So, I take off my hat to them and I thank them," Major Lozano said.
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