Helping the Hungry in Region8

November 29, 2006 -- Posted at 4:14 p.m. CST

PARAGOULD, AR -- We often hear about the sheer number of people served each year by food banks in Region 8.

Wednesday, the Mission Outreach Food Pantry in Paragould held one of its' quarterly food distributions.  Over 200 boxes of food staples like soups, beans, meat and juice were handed out.

"It just helps out.  I'm a widow woman and I live by myself.  I'm 77-years-old and on a fixed income, so it just helps out," said Mary Yearian.

While there are food distributions every month, those canned goods don't go very far.

Food given out on the mass commodity days is supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture.  While many depend on getting their food box every three months, for some, this is their first time.

"My mother told me about it.  She came up here and got it for years and she gave me some good advice to come up here and get it, so I'm going to try it," said Sue Burgess.

Some are uncomfortable seeking assistance, but with the strain of rising prices they have no choice.

"I never thought I would have to come and do this, but I think they're going to help out," said Burgess.

Volunteers from Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould help carry the heavy bags out to the car.  Items given out in the distribution include: green beans, peanut butter, frozen turkey meat, soup, and juice.

"I think it's good for senior citizens or people that don't have a lot.  I think it's good for anybody who needs help and I appreciate what they're doing," said Yearian.

In just under an hour over 100 food boxes were given out to those who need them and by the end of the day all of the 218 food boxes were distributed.

If you want to help with the Mission Outreach Food Pantry call 870-236-8080.