Those facing hardships or maybe just down on their luck don't need to despair because help is just around the "Bend."
Local people from the community and business owners opened the Assembly of God Food Outreach Mission in Horseshoe Bend March 1.
"Anybody with a need can come here," said Bonnie Chapman, director. Those who have come for help usually are sick, out of work or below poverty level, she explained.
The center is open on Fridays. Effective Sept. 6 the new hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
If a person faces a crisis they can contact the mission at anytime and someone will help them, said Retha Aveling, assistant director.
Some of the products available through the center include diapers, cereal, canned foods, corn meal, rice, frozen chicken, frozen dinners, staples, pork, cheeses and dairy products.
Goods are provided by individuals in the community or donations from businesses. Some items are supplied by the North Arkansas Food Bank.
The food bank is equipped with three freezers and two refrigerators. Chapman said the mission is in the process of getting a walk-in cooler.
Chapman said future plans for the center include an addition to enlarge the mission. The addition will help house appliances including freezers and walk-in coolers and add extra space to build more shelves. "We envision for the future a big room for racks of clothing," said Chapman. She also anticipates opening a soup kitchen and providing beds for the homeless.
The goal is to help family members one time a month but if there is a dire need the family can be helped as needed. "We would never refuse a service," Aveling said.
"We are trying to fulfill the word -- the mission. We are not wanting any glory for ourselves. It is a work of the Lord," said Chapman.
Volunteers help disburse food, review applications and stock shelves.
Chairman Ruth Mitchell disburses the food weekly, and Dayle Gruetzmacher, secretary/treasurer, is very dedicated, said Chapman. She keeps records for the center, pays the bills, contacts organizations and contacts suppliers.
Horseshoe Bend Mayor Bob Spear recently visited the center and said he was highly impressed. He said people are devoting their time to help others.
Spear said, "I think it's really great we have something like that to help those that are down and out. It's people helping people."
He said sometimes people are victims of unfortunate circumstances due to illness, lost jobs or a death in the family, or sometimes families are abandoned by a spouse or another family member.
The mayor reflected that some of the people making use of the center probably don't want to but have no other choice.