NASHVILLE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Harvest Regional Food Bank said it has reached a milestone for hunger relief in Southwest Arkansas and Northeast Texas.
The food bank said every county in its 10-county service area is now considered ‘adequately served,’ as measured by Feeding America stands for meals provided to persons in poverty. Feeding America is a national hunger relief organization.
Counties are considered ‘adequately served’ or ‘green’ if certain standards are met. “That means we are putting at least 50% of the needed meals for the people that are in need in those counties,” said Camille Wrinkle, executive director of Harvest Regional Food Bank.
Wrinkle said in recent years, they’ve beefed up assistance in rural areas. “We’ve worked very hard to not just increase the amount of food that we’re doing overall, but to make sure that we are spreading that out equally and fairly.”
Wrinkle said those efforts are helped by more funding from contributors like Tyson. The company has an on-site pantry of its own in the works at its Nashville facility. “It’ll be a great way to service our family that we work with during their bad times, and times that just us providing employment it doesn’t supplement enough,” said Nick Britt, plant manager.
At a mobile food pantry at First Baptist Church in Nashville on Wednesday, residents lined up for assistance from Harvest Regional Food Bank. Many of them were senior citizens. Mary Ann Fizer said she would struggle without the help. “The pantry help out a lot because it help me to keep milk for my grandkids,” she said.
Jackie Wakefield agreed. She said she is very grateful for the mobile pantry that comes to her area every three months. “It provides me with food that my social security isn’t enough to cover, and it gets me by.”
Harvest Regional Food Bank estimated it served about 140 families in Howard County on Wednesday.