San Diego

La Jolla Church's Meal Program Ended Due to Hep. A Outbreak: Representative

A program at a La Jolla Church which feeds dozens of the homeless community once a week has been abruptly canceled partly due to the Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County.

A representative for Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church said they served meals to about 150 homeless people every Tuesday night.

But that program officially came to an end late last month, in part due to lack of space because of renovations and the ongoing Hep. A outbreak.

Rev. Jim Rafferty issued a statement, that read, in part:

"As pastor, I need to provide facilities that are not likely to infect the people of La Jolla."

But some say they aren't convinced of the reasons.

Tresha Sousa who runs the organization "So You May Eat" has been bringing homeless people to the church for years.

"It is the perfect excuse for the church to appease people in La Jolla that have been complaining about the homeless and still appear to be doing a good thing," Sousa told NBC 7.

So You May Eat is serving meals at another location.

Some residents said they were concerned about the outbreak and did not want La Jolla to have the same problems as Downtown San Diego--a hotspot for the outbreak.

Other said they don't see a connection between serving meals to the needy and the spread of the outbreak.

A church representative told NBC 7 they are continuing to serve meals to through their support of St. Vincent De Paul and Catholic Charities.

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