NOEL, Mo. — With the recent news of the Tyson plant in Noel closing soon, many expect that the entire McDonald County will be impacted.
With hundreds of people soon to be out of work, Community Baptist Church in Noel is planning for a growing demand for help.
The church hosts a food pantry every other week that feeds around 300 people a month.
Pastor Joshua Manning predicts the need for food will grow.
“My fear with the closing of Tyson is that what will happen in the short term is that the food pantry’s need is going to escalate large. I mean it’s going to be a huge need for a couple of months. After that, after the population dwindles, it actually may be less of a need in general,” said Joshua Manning, Community Baptist Church Pastor.
The church has also started accepting clothing donations as well.
Manning expects the entire county to feel the impact of the closing of the Tyson plant this fall.
“There’s only 26,000 people in the entire county. And if you talk about Noel, there’s only 2,000 people in town. You’re talking about a plant closing down that has 1,500 workers. Once you start talking about families and dependents for those workers, you’re talking about a sizeable block of people in our county that’s suddenly needing income,” said Manning.
He says the community has come together to try to help those who will be impacted.
“I’ve heard dozens of different groups, churches, people around that want to do something positive. Business owners have a laptop sitting in their business so people can use them to apply for other jobs, to work on their resumes. I know the community is going to do their best to help people,” said Manning.
There are growing expectations that the Noel population will shrink in the coming months.
“What I surmise is that we are going to lose a large number of people in this town. There are people that are going to go to different plants, different working conditions, and so on. I’ve heard about local businesses already attempting to sell their businesses, things of that sort. I don’t want this town to be a ghost town. But I fear that maybe a little bit of where we’re headed towards,” said Manning.