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
  • Cancer patient’s drug, probation cases postponed ‘until further notice’

    A Joplin woman who is battling a rare type of cancer has gotten a temporary reprieve in her drug and probation cases so she can focus on her health issues, according to her attorney. Velma Crain, who appeared Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court, was facing the possible revocation of her probation after having been arrested last year on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance.

    April 15, 2014

  • Suspect in assault on officer apprehended in Texas

    The U.S. Marshals Service caught up with a suspect in Texas who was wanted in an assault on a Seneca police officer and alleged probation violations in Arkansas. Cody A. Rantz, 25, is being held in Collin County north of Dallas on warrants issued in Missouri and Arkansas. Federal marshals reportedly located the fugitive at a strip mall in Texas on Monday afternoon and took him into custody.

    April 15, 2014

  • Ex-Jasper teacher’s aide accused of sexual contact with student

    A former teacher’s aide at Jasper High School has been charged with having sexual relations with a 16-year-old student and is being investigated for possible sexual contact with other boys at the school. Janice L. Rusk, 43, was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy following investigations by school officials and law enforcement.

    April 15, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Open a beer, chat with Tom, see his exhibit

    I like to think that I would have gotten along with Thomas Hart Benton. Sure, I’ve read that sometimes Tom (I think I can call him Tom) could be grouchy, and if someone said something stupid or acted like a jerk, he didn’t mind telling that person exactly what he thought of him. But hey, I grew up with people like that.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Neosho Ethics Board calls witnesses in complaint against council members

    City Manager Troy Royer on Monday night described what he said was an assault by City Councilman Steve Hart, and other incidents involving Hart and Councilman David Ruth. His statements were made to the Neosho Ethics Board, which is investigating a complaint filed against Hart and Ruth. Board members had described Royer as their key witness.

    April 15, 2014

  • r041514recycledfashion.jpg Joplin High School students to model ‘recycled’ dresses at fashion show

    Audrey Kaman will walk the runway later this week wearing a dress she designed herself — made out of 250 doilies. “I’d say it’s a fun dress,” the Joplin High School sophomore said. “It’s not really elegant because it’s short, but it’s cute.”

    April 15, 2014 4 Photos

  • Shooter in Joplin murder sentenced to life in prison

    The teen convicted of being the triggerman in the murder of Jacob Wages was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole. At a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin, Circuit Judge Gayle Crane followed a jury’s recommendations in assessing Daniel D. Hartman, 18, two life sentences on convictions for second-degree murder and armed criminal action, and 15 years on a conviction for burglary.

    April 15, 2014

  • Interchange construction work near Carterville to create safer off-ramp

    As the Missouri Department of Transportation begins rebuilding eastbound ramps at the Missouri Highway 171 and Route HH interchange near Carterville this week, drivers can expect ramp and occasional lane closures. The $1.5 million project, funded by the state, will increase the distance between ramps for drivers traveling northbound on Highway 249 and exiting eastbound to Highway 171.

    April 15, 2014

  • Commission awards contract for bridge replacement project

    The Jasper County Commission on Tuesday approved a contract for construction of a new bridge on County Road 48.

    April 15, 2014

  • moon 2 Julie Mi…ell Kruege.jpg SLIDESHOW: Lunar Eclipse turns moon red Globe readers sent in their photos of the lunar eclipse which could be seen early Tuesday morning in the Joplin area.

    April 15, 2014

Must Read


In an effort to curb prostitution, St. Louis police are targeting, and perhaps humiliating, the "johns" who use the services. Postcards mailed to the homes of those charged with trying to pick up prostitutes will offer a reminder about spreading sexually transmitted diseases, along with listing the court date. Do you think this is a good approach?

A. Yes.
N. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter