PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 organization fighting hunger in Northeast Arkansas has received some much-needed help from one of its neighbors.
Terry Melton, the store manager of the Wal Mart Supercenter in Paragould, stopped by the Mission Outreach of Northeast Arkansas Thursday afternoon.
Melton was there to present them with a check for $38,000.
Cheri Peters, who works as the executive director for Mission Outreach of NEA, said there is a huge need in the Region 8 area.
"The need is huge," Peters said. "We have a pretty sizable homeless population. We're not only serving Greene County. We're serving surrounding counties and even in Missouri because there are no shelters. We are the only shelter of this size in Northeast Arkansas."
Peters said sometimes it feels like they aren't even making a dent.
"I know last year," Peters said. "In our emergency shelter, we had as high as 518 homeless men, women and children. We distributed food boxes and those numbers are in the thousands out of our food pantry. Out of our soup kitchen, on average, we can feed anywhere from 80 to 150 a day for each meal."
Melton said he was happy the Wal Mart Foundation decided to help an organization unlike any others in the Region 8 area.
"The mission here is kind of unique," Melton said. "If I understand correctly, they are one of the only agencies like this in Northeast Arkansas that provides shelter. We also provide food to them through the Northeast Arkansas Food Bank. And they help so many people that are out here fighting hunger that need shelter. And they really help people get back on their feet. So, it's a really awesome place. We're proud to be a part of it."
Peters said they wouldn't be able to provide for so many in need without the help from the community.
"We would not be here without the support of the community," Peters said. "I just want to add how good the Wal Mart Foundation is to us. Even the Wal Mart here. We pick up food once a week and we could just not do it without the community's support."
"We're just trying to help so many people," Melton said. "There's such a hunger issue in the United States. We're just trying to do our part."
Peters said it doesn't look like the homeless situation is going to get better anytime soon.
"I don't think things are getting better," Peters said. "I wish they were. But you just see so many impoverished in this area and our surrounding areas. Of course, there are things that go along with that. Such as addiction or mental health. And those are some of the services we offer here at Mission Outreach."
Peters said the money will go towards food for our soup kitchen, food pantry and for the residents that live in the emergency shelter.
A portion of it will also go towards a new warming table for the soup kitchen along with pots, pans, and containers for food.
Mission Outreach's largest fundraiser is also just around the corner.
They will be holding their Mission Outreach Banquet on Oct. 10.
For more information about the banquet or about Mission Outreach of Northeast Arkansas, click here.
Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.