J0nesboro Radio Group teamed up with our television partner, KAIT and the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas and collected food and money equal to 350,063 meals during the Fill the Food Bank event Friday, November 12.
Of all the things our radio group gets to do over the course of a year, Fill the Food Bank is one of our most cherished events. Food Bank CEO Christie Jordan, KAIT General Manager Hatton Weeks and JRG President/General Manager Trey Stafford drove around to several of the “satellite” drop-off locations during Friday’s event. The locations were being staffed by volunteers for food pantries in each town. The three had a chance to ask the volunteers “how does the Food Bank help you?” To hear their stories was humbling. In most cases, “hunger” in Northeast Arkansas isn’t the pictures and video many of us have seen on TV. “Hunger” is the Dad who is trying to pay all of the bills for his family, having “too much month at the end of the money”, and wondering how he is going to provide food for his spouse and his children. It’s more than just not being able to buy the food. It’s added unwanted tension and angst effecting the family unit and its relationships. What the Food Bank and all of its member pantries do is God’s work.
We received this note on Saturday:
Our church has a food pantry and is open the last Saturday of every month. A common MISCONCEPTION among the public is that people who need food are lazy, druggies, make poor money choices, need to get a job, are just getting handouts and don’t need them, etc. The people I have seen are:
*Elderly needing to eat because their medicine is so expensive
*Foster parents who just need a little help
*Family members raising extra children who aren’t their own
*battered women who were brave enough to step out on their own with barely the clothes on their backs
*very young couples/parents struggling to make ends meet with all of life’s surprises
*widowed men and those caring for ailing wives who have never been in this role of figuring out meals on their own and honestly not knowing how and left with so many expenses there is no money for the fast food options
*people who have lost everything due to fire
*homeless truly wanting to not be homeless
And so much more.
It’s hard to let down your guard and pride and admit you need help. Let alone go to a public place and profess that to a stranger. Especially for a need so basic for survival as food. Anyone who does that needs to be welcomed with open arms and not shamed.
The Food Bank of NEA does good work and is essential! Thanks for JRG and KAIT for supporting them every year not because you “have” to but because you WANT to!
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Fill the Food Bank event. You can still contribute to the Food Bank by texting NEA FOOD to 44321. Or visit the Food Bank website.