SHAMOKIN-God's Chuck Wagon, the mobile soup kitchen providing free meals to the needy for three years, will expand in 2014.

Starting the week of Jan. 13, Pastor James Bowers said the weekly visit from 4 to 5 p.m. at Fourth and Oak streets in Mount Carmel will be followed by an hour, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in the parking lot behind the municipal building in Kulpmont.

Wednesday will be added to the schedule, too, with a visit from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Foundry in Trevorton and from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the playground in Tharptown.

Tuesdays, meanwhile, will remain the same, the chuck wagon visiting the parking lot behind the Rite Aid in downtown Shamokin from 4 to 6 p.m.

Bowers, pastor of the Ministry of the Water and Spirit in Locust Gap, said the chuck wagon's acquisition of a bus equipped with cooking equipment and room for storage, which it began using in November, has allowed the expansion to Kulpmont, Trevorton and Tharptown.

Previously, Bowers, his wife, Janet, and their small group of helpers operated out of a Chevy Malibu. The converted school bus, purchased through donations and renovated by volunteers, cuts setup and tear down time by more than half, allowing the chuck wagon to get to the other communities.

God's Chuck Wagon, which serves some 200 people weekly, will not operate this week or next, but will be back the week of Jan. 6 with its Mount Carmel and Shamokin dates before expanding the following week.

It operates solely on donations. To donate, volunteer or make a monetary contribution, call Bowers at 570-429-2107 or mail to the organization at 831 W. Pine St., Coal Township 17866.

Also, Bowers is now the contact for the Shepherd's Table, the weekly meal for the needy offered at Our Lady of Hope Church, 863 W. Chestnut St., Coal Township, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays