Loaves and Fishes closing Shakopee kitchen due to safety hazards

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Minnesota's largest free meals program is closing down one of its busiest sites in the metro.

Loaves and Fishes said its Shakopee location is closing due to safety concerns. An estimated 125 people were served free hot meals at the old St. Mark's Catholic School every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Loaves and Fishes Executive Director Cathy Maes said the organization was told Friday to immediately cease operations there because there are deficiencies in the building that pose a risk to any occupants.

"It's really sad that we're now having a place to relocate," Maes said. "We're really excited to be in Shakopee, to help people, and we want to continue to do that."

Another charity that uses the building, Shakopee Community Assistance, will also be without a home base. SCA works with families who have children 5 years old and younger and distributes diapers and clothing, including winter jackets.

Loaves and Fishes says it's hoping another site will step up and make space for its operation.