Hepatitis A Outbreak in San Diego Forces Church to Stop Feeding Homeless

Homeless in La Jolla will need to start finding another place to get a free meal. 

Mary Star of the Sea Cathlolic Church used to serve up to 150 meals to homeless people every Tuesday night, but that program has come to an abrupt end. Church officials say that's because of concerns raised by the Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego that's killed 20 people. 

Homeless advocates in San Diego county are saying the reasons given for the cancellation are bogus. They say it's because people who live near the church in the affluent neighborhood north of San Diego have been complaining. 

In an email sent to local media, Rev. Jim Rafferty said because of renovations to the church hall, the church has not adequate space available for the program. 

"As pastor, I need to provide facilities that are not likely to infect the people of La Jolla. I am, therefore, unwilling to commence So Others May Eat feeding in the parish hall at the present time.”

The La Jolla Light reports that at the time of the decision, the La Jolla Town Council wrote a letter to the church asking that it shut down the feeding program permanently. 

Advocates for the program, "So Others May Eat," say they're not giving up and are looking for other venues to host the weekly feeding program. 

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