WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 21, 2013, 08:07 PM

Health department shuts down Fergus Falls’ Salvation Army kitchen

Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - Hundreds of people are going hungry in Fergus Falls.

Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - Hundreds of people are going hungry in Fergus Falls.

That's because after the Minnesota Department of Health rated the Salvation Army kitchen with an A...

They shut it down.

The Salvation Army scheduled the inspection because it hadn't had one in over three years. And to their surprise, in that time, they weren't licensed to operate either.

Close friends and hot food…

"Cause most of the times, people are going home without a meal."

…But today, it's empty.

"Today, we're just getting snacks, which isn't a meal."

This 13-year-old and her friends are regulars of the after school program.

"This is their last choice of eating."

And doesn't quite understand why pop tarts are the choice of the day.

At first, Lt. Linda McCormick wasn't too sure, either.

Lt. Linda McCormick- : "I didn't know we didn't have an operating license, so now, we're in the process of getting that taken care of so that we can resume our lunches."

The kitchen could be closed for up to 45 days. In that time, 80 people will be missing out on hot meals until the license is renewed.

"We want to be compliant now, and we want to make sure everything we do is above board."

So, the community is chipping in.

"It was very sad to hear that they wouldn't do the noon meal anymore due to a licensing issue."

Beginning on Wednesday, Pastor Doug Dent will be a new option. Volunteers will be serving lunch: Bag style.

"We’d received $1,700 in donations, which will feed about 100 people for about 12 days."

Home Depot is serving up 80 cases of bottled water. That comes with a side of 50 loaves, offered by the local Sara Lee bakery.

"Which kind of makes me happy because people actually get to eat even though it's not a full meal."

This operating license usually costs establishments about $500, but in this case, Minnesota has lowered that cost to $140.