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Local church opens cafe to serve free meals to those in need

Every Monday volunteers gather to work at the Community United Church of Christ’s Jubilee Café. (WCCU)

A local church has opened its doors to help battle hunger on the University of Illinois campus. Every Monday volunteers gather to work at the Community United Church of Christ’s Jubilee Café making sure students and community members won't have to choose between food and other necessities.

“We really want to reach out to anybody who feels like they would benefit from a free meal,” organizer of the Jubilee Café, Johnell Bentz said. “We did a lot of research about what already was available to people in our community and we found that Monday night was a night especially on campus that there weren't any free meals available."

The Jubilee Cafe started serving meals last Monday. While volunteers cook the meals to help fight hunger on campus, the organizer said it is open to anyone who do not have enough to eat.

“Being able to give back to people no matter what their point of life is great,” volunteer, Dennis Jamison said. “For anybody that needs food, it doesn't matter we don't ask questions you just come and eat and go and that's what's great about it.”

A GoFundMe was started over the summer to help raise funds for the café and so far the church raised about $7,000 -- enough to serve the community for a year, but they can still use more help.

“In the last couple of weeks we had some people donate $5 and $5 really goes a long way -- that will feed 2 people at Jubilee Café,” Bentz said. “So any amount is welcome we really appreciate that.”

To learn more about volunteering at the Jubilee Café click here.

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