Close to 60 people lined up in the cafeteria of the Salvation Army's Center of Hope in Jefferson City for Easter lunch Sunday afternoon. Thanks to donations from businesses and members of the community, staff were able to feed everyone who walked through the door.
James Epema said he is grateful the kitchen is open to anyone who needs a hot meal.
"I respect it, because I would have nowhere else to eat besides here. They make good meals," Epema said.
The cafeteria served up shepherd's pie and other goods donated to them over the past several months. Kitchen worker TJ Blake said a lot of time and effort goes into making sure people in need don't go hungry.
"We put pretty good time into it," Blake said. "We only have a limited amount of donations that come in that we have to cook. When we get that in, sometimes it's a good amount, sometimes it starts dwindling down and we've got to work with what we've got."
Staff at the Jefferson City Salvation Army said the pantry is generally well-stocked, thanks to the community's efforts. However, kitchen workers said with so many in need, they are in need of donations in certain areas.
The shelter in Jefferson City has switched to serving mostly cold breakfasts because of dwindling supplies. Staff there say they are in need of hot breakfast supplies including eggs, bacon, flour, butter, sugar, milk, baking powder, and breakfast sausage.
Weekend Monitor Deborah Blanton said they are also in need of housecleaning supplies including Lysol, combs, brushes, and towels.
Without these items, Blanton said, the Salvation Army has no way to provide some of Jefferson City's neediest residents with the very basics that they need to survive.