In Greene County alone, more than 16 percent of residents do not know where their next meal will come from. KSMU’s Simone Cook tells us about one local organization working to minimize that insecurity and the help it’s receiving.
The Salvation Army’s Harbor House in downtown Springfield serves as a rehabilitation program for men,but also hosts anyone in need of a meal from noon to 1 p.m. daily, including holidays.
Emily Journagan is the public relations and event coordinator.
“A lot of people come up to us for grocery assistance and social services assistance in general, that have college degrees, have graduated, and they have these huge student loans from going to school, but now they have a job where they only make $10 an hour and they have to pay those loans back, but they have to have the car to get them places and they have to have the wardrobe to wear so that they can move up in the world,” Journagan said.
Many of the individuals who receive aid from Harbor House have heard of the program through others or live in the general area. This mother of one, who chose to remain anonymous, says she is grateful for the help of Harbor House, especially when her food stamps are insufficient.
“The end of the month, you know, when your monthly [food] stamps [are] low, and it helps me a lot, a big help to feed my son.”
The Harbor House is able to feed an average of 135 individuals every day. That’s in part thanks to area restaurants like Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Mr. Good Cents, Panera, and others, which collectively donate about 2,500 pounds of food per month to the facility.
Dianna Lewis, the shelter manager for Harbor House, says that without the help from these organizations, the goodwill of the Salvation Army would not be possible.
“When it comes to front line feeding and even our own meals for the men, I would guess that what we get from the restaurants is at least one-third to one-half of what we have to have to feed. So if we didn’t have them, we could not do it,” Lewis said.
To volunteer or find out more information on this program or other Salvation Army services call 417-862-5509.