Salvation Army monthly dinner suspended

The King’s Table, a free Salvation Army dinner held on the first Monday of each month in Marietta, has been suspended until further notice.

Major Timothy Lyle, general secretary for the Salvation Army headquarters in Cincinnati, said after speaking with Major Karen Garrett, a major issue with continuing the program was simply the facility.

“They’re having some problems with the facility and plumbing,” Lyle said, adding that a leaking roof led to digging up the floor to get to the pipes. That caused conditions such that the meal couldn’t continue.

“They’re trying to get the building in proper shape so they’re not violating any codes,” Lyle said. “(The program) will be temporarily suspended until they can get back and be in a good situation.”

Salvation Army Captain Kathy Dorchak said the number of attendees had been declining in recent months.

“I think the last time we only had 10 people,” she said, adding that the one held around Thanksgiving had quite a few more and was made up of mostly children.

In the meantime, Dorchak said there are other alternatives for those who attended the King’s Table.

Likewise, David Brightbill, executive director for the Washington-Morgan Community Action, said there are many places across Marietta that offer free food at different times.

“Our senior nutrition program serves five days a week,” Brightbill said, adding that anyone 60 or older is eligible.

“The Unitarian Church does theirs once a month and the Methodist church in Norwood does meals,” he said. “They all try to coordinate it so they’re not the third Friday of every month.”

Brightbill said coordination made it so that meals were offered at varied times to ensure maximum attendance and reach.

He added that there is definitely a need in our area to have free meals provided to residents.

“Certainly from what we understand, the food pantries and the fact that churches do this on a consistent basis, those meals are well attended,” he said.

Brightbill added that the cost of food has increased recently and food stamps have been cut. He acknowledged that it is hard for some families to keep up.

“It’s hard to make that (money) stretch for the whole month,” he said.