MEMPHIS, Tenn. — While food insecurity is impacting several areas across the country, some parts of the Mid-South are dealing with the problem.
One Crittenden County, Arkansas woman wants your help with feeding her community. Dorothy Cooper, the former mayor of Turrell, Arkansas said she's hoping the community can help make a difference.
Tucked away off Interstate 55 in Arkansas is a small community called Harvard Yard. Although the neighborhood is quiet, its need is loud.
“This has been a conversation for over 30 years about Harvard Yard. As you look throughout the community, then you see that there is dilapidated housing, abandon housing, again, illegal dumping of trash. It’s like almost they have been forgotten,” said Cooper.
Cooper lives in Crittenden County and has devoted her time in helping the community.
“When you don’t have the proper amount of pay for your jobs, something is lacking. One of those things is hunger,” said Cooper.
She partnered with the Mid-South Food Bank to host a food drive for Saturday, April 30th, but the drive was on the verge of being canceled. Cooper said that they're lacking both the equipment and volunteers needed to make the food drive successful.
Clifton Rockett with the Mid-South Food Bank said they rely heavily on their partners to recruit volunteers.
“Of those 400,000 individuals that we serve, actually in Marion, Arkansas, 16% of individuals that are in Marion, Arkansas face food insecurity,” said Rockett, Mid-South Food Bank Donor Services and Community Engagement Director. “With us feeding so many individuals, we only have roughly about 80 employees that work to feed that many individuals.”
Cooper needed more volunteers to feed roughly 200 families.
“We needed at least 15 from what I understand to make things flow, package, have the cars go do like they need to, and make sure every family is fed and fed well,” said Cooper.
That's why Cooper and the Mid-South Food Bank needs community volunteers.
“It’s not about giving money or anything, just your time. Even if it’s just 30 minutes, it makes a difference,” said Rockett. “Everything that’s going on can be fought with the community and with volunteers. That’s the only way that we can conquer this.”
“We’re not here to disrupt Harvard Yard. We’re here to make it better,” said Cooper.
Not all hope is lost.
ABC24 stepped in to donate tables for the drive and help Cooper and the Mid-South Food Bank get the number of volunteers needed.
If you are interested in helping, click here and send Cooper a message on Facebook.