The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 31, 2013

Mike Pound: Outreach House responds to area need

JOPLIN, Mo. — They began lining up outside the door of the building at 807 S. Moffet Ave. at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

By 10:50 a.m., there were probably 15 people standing in an orderly line, waiting for the doors to open at the Outreach House run by St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church.

In the line were a collection of neighborhood residents who came on foot and homeless people who made their way there. Their situations were different, but they all shared one thing in common: They were hungry.

Since May 6, the Outreach House has been serving free lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Terri Giarratano is the director of the Outreach House. She said the meals are offered free of charge with no strings attached.

“The only thing we ask is that they give us a name when they check in so we can keep track of how many meals we are serving,” she said.

The free lunches are a natural extension of the Outreach House food pantry program, which has been providing food staples to area residents for a number of years.

Terri said that over the years, she noticed a number of people in the morning walking east, away from the Outreach House.

“They were walking to the Salvation Army for lunch, and I thought, ‘We have to do something,’” she said.

Drawing on a number of volunteers, including some who had extensive cooking experience, it wasn’t long before meals were being served out of the Outreach House’s clean and efficient kitchen.

“Since May 6, we have served 2,600 people,” Terri said.

I think that’s something.

On Wednesday, the menu consisted of pizza, featuring Terri’s homemade sauce, a fresh cucumber salad, coffee, tea or milk, and ice cream for dessert. Terri said 28 pizzas would be served out of the kitchen, thanks to generous donors, at a cost of around $100.

Terri said the pizza crusts and cheese were donated, as was the ice cream. The vegetables for the salad were homegrown and donated, and many of the fresh herbs used in both the pizza sauce and the salad also were donated.

By the way, the Outreach House relies solely on local donations. And those donations can come in the form of cash (always appreciated) or food, Terri said.

When it comes to the donation of time by volunteers, Terri also has that covered.

It takes at least six or seven volunteers to serve the lunch, but usually there are anywhere from 10 to 20 who volunteer on a regular basis and at least 60 who also help out when they can.

“Sometimes we have too many,” Terri said with a laugh. “But that’s a good thing.”

One of the volunteers working Wednesday was Irene Comer, who was helping check in people as they entered the house. Terri said Irene will celebrate her 91st birthday on Saturday.

“She says this (working at the Outreach House) gives her a reason to get out of bed in the morning,” Terri said.

In the three months the kitchen has been open, Terri has gotten to know most of the people who show up for a meal. Many she already knew through the food pantry program. Others, including a number of homeless people, also have become regulars at lunch.

“For many of these people, this will be their one hot meal. This will be their main meal,” Terri said.

While there is no charge for the meal, Terri said, some people make a habit of leaving at least a little payment in return for their lunch.

“On Monday a man left us $20, which is unusual,” she said.

Eventually Terri would like to be able to serve lunch every day, and she also has plans for a holiday meal.

“I told my husband to get ready to spend Thanksgiving here,” she said.

For more information about the St. Peter’s Outreach House or to make a donation, people may call 417-206-2588.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

Text Only
Local News
  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: ‘Annie’ production is a family thing

    There’s a twist to this week’s production of “Annie” at Memorial Auditorium. The show, a beloved classic tale of an orphan girl in search of a family, is full of real-life family members.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 Band Box.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage icon continues to play in local restaurant

    Chicago Coin’s Band-Box, also known as “Strike Up the Band,” has been a Carthage icon since the mid- to late 1950s. Any customer who frequented Red’s Diner, or Ray’s Cafe, and now the Pancake Hut is familiar with the pulsating rhythms and movements of this mechanical device.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Gubernatorial hopefuls make area appearances

    Three potential candidates for Missouri governor in 2016 made stops in the Joplin area this past week.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • shoalcreekcleanup.jpg Wildcat Glades center puts on service day at Shoal Creek

    About 20 people on Saturday pulled trash out of Shoal Creek as they paddled in canoes and kayaks from Grand Falls to Zan’s Creekside Campground in Joplin.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearts & Hammers plans annual home repair event

    Since 2003, volunteers with Hearts & Hammers of Southwest Missouri have made free improvements to more than 170 homes owned by the elderly, physically disabled, and single parent or low-income families.

    July 26, 2014

  • Money clouds farm fight

    For much of the summer, while the campaign surrounding “right to farm” has been focused on its impact on “small, family farmers,” the bulk of the money pouring into the fight has come from big agriculture interests.

    July 26, 2014

  • jameswelbornupdate.jpg Local teen completes half of solo river trip

    James Welborn, a recent Webb City High School graduate, has reached the halfway point of his solo canoe trip down the Mississippi River — just in time to celebrate his 19th birthday with family.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Neosho police warn residents of phone scam

    The Neosho Police Department has received complaints from residents saying someone impersonating a lieutenant from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office warrants division has been calling them.

    July 26, 2014

Must Read


A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter