Since 2007, homelessness in the community has jumped more than fifty percent. The demand for assistance like the
Salvation Army's Emergency food pantry is up forty percent. Because of the increase in need volunteers are trying to make a change.
"We're not the answer. We're just today and tomorrow." said Jim Payne of
Stomp the Blues Out of Homelessness.
And, they're using music to help. The 2nd Annual Stomp the Blues out of Homeless event is an effort to provide direct assistance to those who are homeless and near homeless through local existing organizations such as Bill's place, the Missouri Hotel and the Rare Breed
"They're are a lot of people at Bill's place that have part-time jobs, but can't afford to live. They pay for the rent and utilities, but they don't have food and basic necessities." said Payne
It's an event to help end poverty in general.
"There are solutions to poverty and there are ways to do better, but our society has yet to strike the right balance to be sure our social safety net doesn't have a lot of holes." said Dr. Roger Ray
Pastor, Community Christian Church
Holes that local volunteers are trying to fill, the Salvation Army had one of their largest food drives of the year today. It's also seeing a demand in need. During the summer months donations are typically down but demand is up, this week alone 107 households received food from the emergency food pantry.
"We are seeing record numbers in the food line feedings. They're up to 350 meals a day served over there, which is double than last year." said Major Claire Granger
of the Salvation Army in Springfield.
The Salvation Army is one organization that partners with the National Association of Letter Carriers for the Stamp Out Hunger drive. Residents across the country are asked to place a bag of nonperishable food near their mailbox. Last year Ozark residents donated more than 131,000 pounds of food.
"It's incredibly important. It's Springfield helping Springfield. That's really what it amount to,"
The Stomp the Blues out of Homeless event is running until 11 pm Satuday at the Urban Market on Trafficway.Tickets are eighteen dollars.
The Salvation Army has issued an urgent plea for volunteers after a huge response to today's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive please call 417-763-1357 if you are interested in volunteering
Satuday evening the Salvation Army sent out the update below.
Saturday during the NACL 'Stamp Out Hunger' food drive approximately 67,000 pounds of food were donated in Springfield. The United Way will release the exact total in the coming days. Event organizers and local food pantries remain hopeful that once all donations are counted the total will come closer to last year's estimated total of 131,000 pounds.
The Salvation Army received approximately 25,000 pounds of nonperishable food items today, which will help restock its emergency food pantry and help supply its feeding programs.
Nonperishable food items that are still most needed include peanut butter, canned meats, oatmeal and breakfast cereals.
The Salvation Army needs more volunteers to help sort & pack donations from the food drive. Volunteers are needed on Sunday, May 13th from 1 p.m. Until 5 p.m. At it's main location - 1707 W. Chestnut Expressway.