Mission Outreach seeing continued need for food assistance - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Mission Outreach seeing continued need for food assistance

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The shelves at Mission Outreach in Paragould are starting to fill back up after becoming very bare earlier this week.

"We've put out a plea to the public and the community to bring us some groceries and help us stock our food pantry," said Mission Outreach Development Director, Jeremy Biggs.

Generous donors are answering that plea, but Biggs says the need in the community is ever present--so the needs at Mission Outreach continue too.

"So far this year, we've distributed 748 food boxes," said Biggs.

Biggs says that puts the mission on pace to distribute just over 4700 food boxes in 2011.  That's up 9 percent from 2010.

"In 2010, we saw an 18 percent increase from 2009. So over the last 2 years, we're projected to be on an increase of 27 percent," said Biggs.

Biggs says reasons for the increase vary--from high gas prices, high utility costs over the past couple of months, and people still struggling to find work.

"We see no decrease in the near future for the demand for food," said Biggs. 

Biggs adds the mission has its largest food drive of the year just before Thanksgiving.  They collected more than 1800 pounds of canned goods during last year's drive.  He says the donations go a long way during the winter, but the need doesn't go away just because the weather warms up.

"The simplest way to help us out and help our food pantry out is the next time you go to the grocery store, grab an extra jar of peanut butter, couple of extra boxes of macaroni and cheese, some canned vegetables and just bring them over to Mission Outreach," said Biggs.

Biggs says if gas prices continue to rise, it will likely add to the demand for food assistance. Of course, every little bit helps and if you would like to make a donation--we have a list of food items needed.

The items include: Peanut Butter, Mac and Cheese, Canned Fruit, Canned Corn, Canned Bean, and Canned Meat, such as Chicken and Tuna    

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