Tough Times Forcing Some To Give Less To The Less Fortunate

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- For Stephanie Greenham and folks at the Salvation Army this is their busiest time of year.  They are busy filling food boxes for Thanksgiving and Christmas to decorating trees with angels.

"Right now, we haven't seen the extremely long lines requesting the help. It's pretty much the same as we saw last year," said Major Stephanie Greenham.

So far nearly 450 region eight families have requested food boxes, and these familiar looking angels...essentially wish lists for children.

In a sluggish economy, Greenham says filling the requests already made may be a challenge.....simply because many are forced to tighten their budget now more than ever. For some, that means donating less to the less fortunate.

"I know God hears the prayers of our heart.....God loves those little hungry children, and he'll make a way," said Greenham.

"This year we're down about 100 thousand pounds in food donations. With the holidays approaching, we really don't have enough in our warehouse to provide for our agencies for the Thanksgiving holiday, said Executive Director of the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, Christie Jordan.

From a distance, the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas looks like it's well-stocked, but many shelves are bare and huge pallets sit empty.

"A lot of people that contribute regularly to our program have sent us little cards saying I wish it could be more but this year our budget is just so tight.  We're having to be extra cautious in order to be able to provide for our own families," said Jordan.

Jordan says food drives in the 12 county area the food bank serves are making a big difference no matter how big or small the donation. As for Stephanie Greenham at the Salvation Army, she knows times are tough.  She's putting her hope in a higher power, and she believes prayers for those in need will be answered.

"You know there's a book that says the Lord will never fail me but I think he's scared me to death a few times. That happens sometimes, I think, Lord do you have to wait until the last minute, but it will come through, I know the answer will come," said Greenham.

Here are some helpful numbers: Salvation Army--932-3785, and Food Bank of Northeast of Arkansas' number is 932-3663.

If you want to pick up an angel and participate in the angel tree project, they will become available this weekend at The Mall At Turtle Cree, Wal-Marts on Highland in Jonesboro and in Trumann, the Jonesboro Country Club, TaMolly's in Jonesboro, and Sams, also in Jonesboro.