Our next “30 Faces of Hunger Relief” takes us to Point Cedar, Arkansas. Tucked in the western most area of Hot Springs County sits a food pantry that distributes to people in need across five counties. That pantry is called Hope Outreach and the name tells their passion: they give hope to everyone around them.
The outreach is growing, and to help lead the change is two men: Glen Shuffield and Tim Jordan
Glen Shuffield has been helping people in his community for years.
Like another letter carrier on our list, Shuffield helped organize the local letter carrier food drive in his area for years. In fact, he helped start the local food drive 21 years ago.
Since retiring from the Post Office, Shuffield continued helping others with hunger relief when he became the director of his church’s new food pantry in 2012. They called it the Hope Outreach Food Pantry. That pantry was co-founded by the church’s Pastor, Tim Jordan.
Pastor Jordan said they started out in 2006 just making boxes for 15 families through local stores. Then after a hunger summit with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, the group approached the Arkansas Foodbank about building a food pantry in their community.
In a short amount of time, they saw their “gift of hope” grow from 30 families a month to over 200 families: a tough task to accomplish with only a 480sq ft. building.
“It has been phenomenal the growth that we have had,” says Shuffield. Last year, the food pantry handed out more than 106,000lbs of food from the Arkansas Foodbank to people in need.
So, sticking with their theme of outreach, the two men began a capital campaign for a new building with eight times the space. Pastor Jordan says the new pantry will have more space for distribution day, storage for food, disaster relief space and also serve as a community building.
Both men envision the new food pantry being a place where nobody worries about going hungry. They hope to one day have an afterschool feeding program for children via the state’s Health and Human Services department, as well as hold cooking and canning preservation classes since the facility will have a kitchen.
To grow their outreach in such a manner takes a huge commitment.
Pastor Jordan and Glen Shuffield have been relentless in raising funds for the new facility; applying for grants and finding donors in an area where they aren’t easy to come by. Not only that, both of them have spent many hours doing manual labor to get the site ready. But for them it is worth it. They know that their pantry is a beacon of hope in their surrounding communities.
On Saturday, June 7th, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Hope Outreach Food Pantry. Pastor Tim Jordan and Glen Shuffield were on hand to celebrate the moment with dozens of volunteers, donors, and people the pantry helps serve.
The campaign still has a ways to go and money still has to be raised to complete the building, but the outlook is positive.
The two of them have no doubt made a change for the better and have served as passionate champions for the hungry in Arkansas.