The St. Francis House is one meeting away from shedding its 130-meal limit.
The Gainesville City Commission voted unanimously to approve its second reading of the city soup-kitchen meal-limit change. Commissioners voted to change the meal limit to a time limit at a meeting Aug. 18.
The meal limit restricted the city's soup kitchens to serving 130 meals a day. The number limit, which excluded Christmas, Thanksgiving and a day of the shelter's choice, will be replaced by a time limit of three hours a day for meals.
The hours must be continuous, and meals must be served between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.
On paper, the rule applies to all city soup kitchens, but in practice, the St. Francis House is the only soup kitchen that has to follow the limit.
St. Francis House Executive Director Kent Vann said he plans to serve lunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the soup kitchen once the change is made.
There's one last detail to work out: The City Plan Board has to approve the measure on Nov. 1. After that, the St. Francis House can start operating under the new rule.
"Hopefully, I can start the very next day," Vann said.
He said he is tentative about feeling excited until all the details are hammered out.
"I'm feeling good that we're even at this point right now," he said.
Volunteering members of RecSports serve food to a man at St. Francis House on Thursday. Currently, St. Francis House is restricted to a 130-meal limit per day.