Vandalism at Bellingham church stops weekly free meal program

A program that feeds the hungry was put on hold Tuesday, Dec. 9, because of vandalism in a building at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which hosts the meals each week on Tuesday.

The damage in the basement under the church’s Old Parish Hall, 2116 Walnut St., was discovered Monday morning by a building manager, according to Father Jonathan Weldon.

The door had been kicked in and its frame smashed. Copper piping that connected the water heater to the kitchen and the bathroom was ripped out.

“We found a mess down there,” Weldon said.

With no water, the meal program — known as Maple Alley Inn — couldn’t operate on Tuesday, Dec. 9. The church, in conjunction with the Opportunity Council, offers breakfasts on Tuesdays.

“It brought this program to a standstill today,” Weldon, rector for the church, said Tuesday.

About 50 to 75 people eat breakfast at the Bellingham church each week.

The costs haven’t been finalized but the damage could be about $1,000.

Maple Alley Inn is expected to resume at the church next Tuesday.