As temperatures go down, people in need goes up - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

As temperatures go down, people in need goes up

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Christie Jordan, Executive Director for the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, says they've seen a dramatic increase in the number of people coming in for food assistance.

"Normally in January things are relatively slow at the food bank, but we hit the first part of this year still going strong. Our agencies are saying that they are still seeing a high demand for emergency food assistance. In fact, they're seeing more people than they typically do in January. And so, we just want people to remember that this is work we do year round and we need people to continue to support us. . .not just throughout the holidays."

Jordan says part of this increase may be due to the recent weather Region 8 has been getting. "We're experiencing a lot of cold weather and so families are having to spend more money than they've budgeted for their heat and utilities, or propane and natural gas. Whatever they're using to heat their homes. So, we're seeing people that are having to go to food pantries to ask with help for food so they can pay those bills."

Jordan says the volunteers at the distribution centers is seeing an alarming number of people coming in for help. "Our agencies, food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters tell us continuously that new clients, people they've never seen before. In fact, some people who have previously donated to their food pantries are now finding they're having to ask for assistance from those local programs. So, this is something I think as the months progress and the cold weather we're going to continue to see an increase in the need for our services."

The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas serves twelve counties in Northeast Arkansas. Last year alone, the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas distributed 2.5 million pounds of food to twelve counties in Northeast Arkansas.

The food bank needs non perishable food items like macaroni and cheese and peanut butter or canned goods. Jordan asks that donors not forget about hygiene products like soap, shampoo, deodorant or toilet paper.

By offering hygiene products as well, they can further help those who have found themselves on a tight income.

You can reach the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas at 932-3663 or 932- FOOD. You can also log onto their website.

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