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Local Church Celebrates 19 Years of Loaves and Fish Ministry

Hundreds served each week.
PEORIA - Peoria's First United Methodist church has kept its Loaves and Fish program's going strong for 19 years.

The program started as a Saturday feeding ministry. Now it includes a free health clinic, a clothing pantry, space for tutoring and HIV/AIDS screening and more.

Hundreds of people streamed through the doors for its special annual fish fry to commemorate the program. Organizers hope it will continue as long as there’s a need.

"We're going to feed as many people as show up. We've never run out of food. We've never run out of volunteers. Sometimes it gets a little close but due to the generosity of donors, individuals, companies and corporations there's always enough food," said coordinator Dan Philips.

Every Saturday the church serves about 320 hot meals.
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