Shelter closing likely to leave more Ottumwans hungry

Friday was the last supper at the Ottumwa Community Outreach Center soup kitchen in Ottumwa.

Fifty to 75 meals were served daily to those who didn't have enough to eat, and after Fridayâ??s meal, many may not know when their next meal will be.

â??The soup kitchen has been open for 10 years...and over the past couple of years, the kitchen has continued to see dwindling amounts of support in its finances and board leadership. The menâ??s shelter closed its doors two weeks ago in hopes of preserving the kitchen, but in the end, it wasn't maintainable,â?? Outreach Ministry Board President Marty Schmidt said. â??Right now, our hope is that this creates some community awareness that there is a real need right now because what we were doing is no longer being done. And so in the end we need a new entity to rise up, this entity as Ottumwa Community Outreach no longer exists after today and so our hope is that people would come together and recognize that there is the need for a soup ktichen and that its winnable.â??

He went on to say that the people who utilize the soup kitchen have more or less become a family, and it's a place where they can go and see familiar places and have a meal.