Dozens drive through Benton mobile food distribution event

Local

BENTON, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – With businesses closed and economic uncertainty in the air, the pandemic has some in our area worried where their next meal may be coming from.

“I am handing out food to people that don’t have one,” said Dominique Paul, 7. “I feel really good about it.”

The Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana supplied the items for the curbside carryout. Donations are helping curb hunger by feeding those in need.

“It means a whole lot that we’re able to help people in some sort of way get through this crisis,” said Mayor Shelly Horton.

The City of Benton partnered with Manpower and the food bank to bring the event to Benton United Methodist Church.

“People are at home with their children and providing more meals for their family than they have in the past,” said Sarah Collier, executive vice president of Collier Investments, which owns area Manpower franchises.

More time at home due to stay-at-home orders has served up problems for those food insecure.

“It’s just a blessing to receive the food, and we thank God for the ones that’re working here,” said Martha Pearson.

About 150 cars drove through the pickup line. Volunteers kept social distance and placed items in peoples’ trunks while wearing masks.

Horton said they requested more food, but the food bank’s supply is also struggling.

“They’re suffering the same way we are because of the amount of food they’re distributing, so they’re getting low also,” said Horton.

The large turnout is a sign of the tough times COVID-19’s caused and the extra pressure some are feeling to get food on their plate.

“Being stuck at home, it just feels like you can’t do anything, you just have to watch everything going on in the world,” said Abigail Rutledge, volunteer. “So, just being able to come here and just make a small difference, because every little thing means a lot in the long run.”

Based on today’s turnout, the mayor said they plan to schedule another mobile food distribution event within the next few weeks.

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