Volunteers celebrated the opening of Faith Café's new building today, eight months after the charity closed the doors of its longtime home on Kennedy Boulevard.
About 30 volunteers served free lunch to the needy after a prayer and a round of applause.
Only a handful of people came to the location at 1340 N. Clearview Ave. to eat the lunch of pasta, green beans and hot dogs, but Tom Little, a member of the café's board of directors, said there will be a line down the street by the end of the week.
“You can't send them an email or reach them on a cell phone,” Little said. “It's all word of mouth.”
The café's opening was delayed about a month due to last-minute paperwork and coding procedures.
The café had served hundreds of meals a week at 3702 W. Kennedy Blvd. since 2001, until the property owner asked the board of directors to move elsewhere last June.
The café, which is run by volunteers from churches in a partnership with Metropolitan Ministries, was built with donations from the community, said board president Aubrey Smith.
The 2,600-square-foot building has a larger kitchen, better air conditioning and more space for the café's charity clothes closet.
“It's been fabulous that we've been able to accomplish this just with volunteers,” Smith said.
The café is open from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information or to help, go to www.faithcafetampa.com.