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St. Francis Diner loses thousands of dollars in food, repair costs

Posted: 5:59 PM, Jun 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-20 18:59:43-04

In Iberia Parish, the St. Francis Diner is asking for the community’s help. Over the weekend, its walk-in freezer broke, which means the diner lost thousands of dollars worth of food. 

The diner serves hundreds of people each day, and for many of them, the broken freezer could mean they go hungry.    

"A lot of people, sometimes, they just don’t have the means to get a good meal," says Paul Harvey Hypolite, who says he has been eating at the diner for more than six years.

The kitchen will be closed Friday through Sunday for repairs and restocking. 

"I had to make another bill for the garbage people to pick up the stuff yesterday. We needed to get that out of here because it was so stinky. So that’s another bill. Right now our van is down, and we don’t know what’s going to happen with that. So we’re at a low point," says Juanita Lewis, the executive director at St. Francis Diner.

A low point for the diner is a low point for much of the South Hopkins Street neighborhood.

"Not just a meal, some of them come just to have someone to talk to, meet friends, and everything," says Lewis.

Now the diner workers are looking to the community for support.

"We would appreciate monetary donations. That would help a lot. We do accept wild game," says Lewis.

"Thank god for this place. I hope it stays open for many more years and with the help of the good Lord, it will be here," says Hypolite.