Outreach group that serves hot meals in north St. Louis may be s - KMOV.com

Outreach group that serves hot meals in north St. Louis may be shut down

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Café Hope, which serves hot lunch to those who are struggling, may shut down because of a health department investigation.

The St. Louis Health Department is investigating because the woman who run the organization also cook the food at home and do not have permits.

The organization uses the 14th Street Artists Community Gallery as a soup kitchen on Saturday. It serves 100 people a free hot lunch, but the owner of the gallery said the kitchen may soon have to shut its doors.

“We may shut down for a while, but we’ll get things straight and we’ll move on,” said Peter Sparks, owner of the 14th Street Artists Community.

Sparks has been providing space for Cape Hope for the last four years. Recently, the program has come under fire after an anonymous report to the St. Louis Health Department brought an investigation.

“I’m just suggesting that the rules perhaps need to be looked at again and become more customer friendly,” Sparks said.

The health department told News 4 the hang up is because of permits and approved food sources. Currently, three church members donate and cook the food for Café Hope.

“If we leave, there are a lot of people who won’t eat. They bring to go containers home to eat during the week,” said Pastor Lajuana Morris with Cavalry Church.

A health department spokesman said the agency is willing to work with Café Hope to get the occupancy and food permits.

The next health department inspection will take place Monday. Cafe Hope will also find out Monday if it has to close down and for how long.

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