Storm damages Jonesboro church, halts food ministry

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Thursday's storm nearly peeled the roof off a Jonesboro church. The extensive storm damage forced First Assembly of God church in Jonesboro to close their doors including their food pantry.

The coordinator of the food ministry, Tabatha Bunn, was passing out food at the church when bad weather hit the area.

"Strong winds and heavy rain came in and destroyed our front office," she said. "The roof was blown back and everything the ceiling tiles, the wiring, the air ducts and the lighting all fell."

Forcing the church to close their doors. First Assembly of God Church had just installed a new phone system when Thursday's storm left them in need of a new roof.

"I was actually here when this all happened, we had people here getting food," Bunn said. "You could hear it outside the walls but I didn't really know what was going on."

Tabatha Bunn is the coordinator for Provision 88, a food ministry at the church. She said when the sirens went off they took cover in a safe room.

"While we were down there David, our maintenance guy said 'we've been hit,'" Bunn told Region 8 News.

"We have no place right now to serve people," she said.

Provision 88 has been open 5 years and serves about 8 counties.

"Five hundred to 600 families a month we serve that we help out," Bunn said. "Right now we are closed indefinitely and I hate to say that because this is something I love to do, this is my life on a regular basis."

Bunn said it's now a waiting game to find out the extent of the damage.

"The insurance adjuster is supposed to come today and after that we have to wait and see, we don't know," she said.

In the meantime, Bunn said the Northeast Arkansas Food Bank can direct people to another location.

"I just apologize to the people out there for the inconvenience that this has caused, I hate it myself and at this point my hands are tied."

Bunn canceled their order at the food bank. She said although they had a place to store the food, it's not accessible to the public.

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