(KATV) Little Rock - Every day the Salvation Armymakes an impact by helping people through emergency response, health servicesand making warm meals. But they are reducing the amount of meals they willserve on the weekends. The Little Rock location serves about 75,000 warm,healthy meals every year, but they are trimming the schedule on weekendsbecause of funding.
To be clear, they are notcompletely shutting their doors on weekends, but instead of breakfast, lunchand dinner, they will only offer dinner to the public.
When you drive by the SalvationArmy, there are usually hungry people, down on their luck waiting in line. Theyare there extra early because it is first come, first serve.
Kathy Barbeire explains, "Weoften run out of food before everyone has had a chance to eat so it is realheartbreaking when you see people coming through the door and you have to turnthem away because you're out of food."
The public will still be welcometo get a warm meal three times a day during the week, but on weekends onlydinner will be available to the public. However, breakfast and lunch will beprovided to overnight guest on the weekend.
Barbeire says they can't affordto hire more staff plus general donations and funding sources are down. Eachcenter is funded by the community and doesn't get help from the internationalorganization. She adds, "We're hoping that through some of these cuts, we willbe able to provide more meals during dinner. When we were making this decisionwe looked at other resources that were available in the community."
Pastor Holloway is with theLittle Rock Compassion Center. He says, "Right now we feed 600 to 800 meals aday. We're expecting that to grow over the next few weeks and months."
Pastor Holloway says they willlikely get an influx of people on the weekends because of the Salvation Army'snew schedule, but they'll make room and cook more food. He says most people heis seeing right now have homes, jobs or on fixed income and the young adultpopulation that can't afford a complete, healthy meal is increasing.
He concludes, "People alwayswonder who feeds the hungry of Arkansas and I say you do when you support theLittle Rock Compassion Center."
With the holidays just around thecorner, both organizations are in need of volunteers, food and monetarydonations.
In order to control traffic andto help the reduced staff, showering will not be offered anymore to people whoare not staying at the shelter.
The Salvation Army is located at 1111 West MarkhamStreet in Little Rock. The number is (501) 374-9296. They have anassistant cook position open.