Due to major impacts from COVID-19, Open Arms, Incorporated of Philadelphia began holding emergency curbside food distributions, in hopes of reaching anyone in the community who might be in need.
“We give food and we’re also trying to give hope. During this pandemic, people are losing hope. They are losing their jobs and their livelihoods. They’re hungry. Their kids are hungry. If there is no hope, they give up. So what we want them to know is this is a community that loves them and is going to provide for them,” said Open Arms, Inc. Co-Chair John Bowen.
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the organization has distributed more than 1,000 bags of groceries to people in Neshoba County.
Tuesday’s distribution was scheduled to run from 4:30 pm until 6:30 pm, but all 290 prepared bags of groceries were handed out by 5:45. Bowen said he was happy to see several new people come through the line Tuesday, but he asked people to continue spreading the word.
“We do a lot on social media and Facebook, different radio stations that we get on and communicate it. We thank WTOK for helping plugging it. We really want people in the local churches and say the volunteer fire department, you know everybody in your community. You know who is in need. We’re asking those people to step up and spread the word so we can do what we have come to do,” said Bowen.
Volunteers and groups from different organizations donate their time, handing out grocery bags to all who come through the line at Open Arms. Folks from Boswell Media said it feels great to help out.
“It’s such a wonderful thing for the community and is touching people right here in Neshoba County. As soon as I saw that I was like we have got to get involved. I talked to the bosses and they are behind it 100 percent and we’re doing what we can. We’re going to hand out a whole lot of food here,” said Lolly Griffin from Boswell Media.
Bowen said there are plans for food distributions in the future.