La Jolla church cancels homeless meal program citing hep A concerns

Posted at 6:26 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 22:05:11-05

 A longtime program focused on feeding the homeless at Mary Star of the Sea Church in La Jolla has been cancelled because of concerns about Hepatitis A. 

The founder of "So Others May Eat", Tresha Souza, tells 10 News the pastor of the church informed her at the end of October that she would no longer be able to serve people at their facility, citing concerns about the recent Hep A outbreak. 

The Catholic Diocese issued the following statement: 

“We’re sorry for any misunderstandings that have arisen regarding the ‘So Others May Eat’ dinners that used to take place at Mary Star of the Sea.  A major renovation forced us to close our parish hall for the past several months and we have had to redirect where and how we do our part to serve the less fortunate in our parish.   We have not and will never turn our backs on the poor.  As a parish, we will respond to the needs of our community; we will overcome the challenges posed by the Hepatitis outbreak and we will continue to provide assistance to the homeless people and families who need our help and our prayers.” 
Souza says she is disappointed and angry about the decision and thinks it was a drastic action to take. She says she had already changed her serving practices to minimize the risk of contamination and doesn't feel her program put anyone at risk. 

She is now looking for another location to continue her work.