WICHITA — The Lord's Diner plans to open a second location near Planeview that will serve free evening meals to the hungry, officials announced today.
The location, a warehouse at 2825 S. Hillside, is the former site of the Bread of Life food pantry.
"This second site, I would say, we approach with humility," said Bishop Michael Jackels during a news conference in the empty warehouse this morning.
"We're profoundly grateful to donors and to volunteers across the community. ... None of this would be possible without their collaborative effort."
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Wendy Glick, executive director of the Lord's Diner, said she couldn't say when the new diner will be ready. "We still have many, many things to decide between now and when we open," she said. But officials hope to start serving meals by spring.
The Lord's Diner feeds the hungry — anyone who comes for a dinner, with a "no questions asked" policy — at a downtown facility at Central and Broadway. It is operated through donations and volunteers. The second location will work the same way, Glick said.
She said the location was chosen because of its proximity to Planeview and other low-income neighborhoods.
"This area was identified as not just having a need, but having few other services close by," she said.
About a year ago the Lord's Diner withdrew a proposal to open a satellite diner at 21st and Grove. That plan drew strenuous opposition from many in the community, including the Wichita Ministerial League, which worried that it would increase crime and hamper revitalization efforts in the near-northeast area.
Glick said this morning that she doesn't expect similar opposition to the new location on South Hillside.
"We've been invited by individuals in this community to come here and address the needs," she said.
"We're so excited about doing this," she added. "We've always wanted and will continue to want to feed the hungry of this community."