LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Two years ago, St. Joseph Diner closed its doors to the public because of the pandemic. But that will soon change. On August 1, these doors will swing open again to help serve the community.

Ben Broussard with St. Joseph Diner says it has been serving meals to those that have been experiencing hunger and homelessness in Acadiana since 1983. After two years of serving the community in the parking lot, Broussard says they will now re-open the dining room.

“We’re thrilled that on August 1 we get to welcome people back into the dining room along with our volunteers to come back and serve an in person meal,” says Broussard.

This reopening date comes at a perfect time, as the number of people in need of these meals has increased. “On a normal day outside of the pandemic or even before the pandemic we would get 50 to 60 phone calls a day. These days with not only people still hurting, the economy still crunching, and increased inflation, we’re somewhere between 350-400 phone calls a day,” says Broussard.

Even with the increased cost for food, Broussard remains optimistic the diner will be able to help the community. “Food costs more, the budget doesn’t stretch as far, but we trust in not only God but the community to help us do this great work of mercy here in Acadiana.”

Volunteers are still needed at St. Joseph Diner when it reopens in August.