‘The Lord’s work’: ArkLaTex nonprofit continues serving those in need through pandemic

During pandemic, Christian Service perseveres to continue its mission of keeping people fed

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The financial turmoil gradually brought on by the novel coronavirus has forced tens of millions of Americans into a state of uncertainty.

That economic pain is being felt across the ArkLaTex. But, a Shreveport nonprofit is making sure it remains open daily for those in need of a little help — especially a hot meal.

That’s where Christian Service comes in.

“You cannot do anything being hungry,” said Al Moore, executive director. “I don’t know, if it weren’t for Christian Service, I don’t know where people would get a hot meal.”

Located on Levy Street in Shreveport’s Ingleside neighborhood, Christian Service’s mission has remained steadfast since its inception in 1970 by a nun, Sister Margaret McCaffrey.

Christian Service serves breakfast daily from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., as well as lunch from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. The nonprofit takes monetary donations but is also currently asking for donations of ‘to-go’ boxes, plastic silverware and water bottles.

“We’re serving two hot meals a day, 364 days per year,” Moore said.

They don’t serve meals on Christmas, he noted.

“We do an average of 55 to 6 thousand meals per month."

But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and like other businesses, drastic changes were made at Christian Service.

The dining room is now shut down, chairs are on tops of tables, workers are wearing face masks and clients grab food through a 'to-go’ system, which has proven discouraging for some staffers.

“I think the hardest part is when it’s raining, they don’t have a place to sit down and come in and eat,” added John Storey, a board member at Christian Service. “It’s discouraging to see.”

Moore said Christian Service operates strictly off donations. He said the organization does not receive any government funding.

And with the pandemic, Christian Service now faces unforeseen costs, such as endlessly purchasing packages of styrofoam ‘to-go’ boxes, plastic silverware and packages of water.

“That wasn’t in our budget,” he added. “I’m serving 12 to 13 hundred meals per week, think about how many ‘to-go’ plates that is.”

Regardless of the circumstances, Christian Service is keeping the faith and continuing its loving mission of those who are facing all kinds of hardship, no questions asked.

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