On January 30th, the Petit Jean poultry plant in Danville, Arkansas shut its doors, and left nearly 600 workers without a job. Many of the workers affected by the closing are immigrants, mainly Hispanic and Laotian, though plenty of local folks have also been hit hard.
The situation in Danville is bleak at the moment. The Petit Jean closing came on the heels of another poultry plant that shut its doors last Spring. The poultry industry is one of the main employers in the area and without these plants there has been a major spike in unemployment and hunger.
St. Andrew’s Church began an emergency Food Pantry to help feed the local community, with the help of the Arkansas Hunger Alliance, the Arkansas Rice Depot and the River Valley Regional Food Bank.
Originally, it was meant to be a two month emergency Food Bank, to help feed the families and workers affected by the Petit Jean closing. However, in their first week they fed almost 800 families and realized that the hunger situation in Danville is far worse than they believed. This is not only affecting the unemployed, but the entire community is suffering.
The community in Danville needs your support. If you are local, contact St. Andrew’s church to see how you can help. Otherwise, send much needed donations to:
St. Andrew Catholic Church
P.O. Box 1688
Waldron, AR 72958
Be sure to mark your check for the “Food Pantry”. For the many immigrant families in Danville, now is the time they need your help.