Despair & hope in the Delta.

Heifer 12 x 12

Traveling from Appalachia to the Arkansas Delta was a shock to me. I thought I was prepared to see poverty – heck, I’ve been seeing poverty this whole year of travel with Heifer – but there was something about the sheer desolation of the town of Hughes, Arkansas that just about broke my heart.

The Delta stretches across the far eastern part of Arkansas, in the vastly fertile bottom lands of the Mississippi River where giant agribusiness farms of 10,000 acres prevail. Yet in an ocean of agricultural fecundity, Hughes is a food desert – its only grocery store burned to the ground.

Delta folk are predominantly African-American; brought to the region as slaves, they worked as sharecroppers for decades after the Civil War, then as agricultural day laborers until farm mechanization reduced the need for human labor. Now unemployment in the Delta stands at about 40%, prostitution and drug…

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About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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7 Responses to Despair & hope in the Delta.

  1. Peggy says:

    If anyone can transform that area, Heifer can. And, look at the goodwill on the locals’ faces. Good for them. It’s good to hear a good USA/Heifer story because we need them right here, too, in America, the richest country in the world.

  2. It’s too easy to forget or disregard the needs of others.

  3. Okelle says:

    What an inspiring post — and with such beautiful photos. It’s easy for people to forget that poverty and lack of opportunity is an issue right here in the USA. I’m glad to see Heifer bringing their successful model back home to the US.

  4. judithatwood says:

    This is a lovely, and much necessary post. Heifer is certainly the entity to make a difference here! Thanks for posting this!

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