Cedar Ridge Food Pantry needing donations before holidays

OIL TROUGH, AR (KAIT) – With winter quickly approaching, the Cedar Ridge Food Pantry in Oil Trough is preparing for its busiest time of the year.

Volunteers say they are strapped for supplies, so they worry there is going to be little left to give out during the holidays.

"The people can come once a month," said Reba Holloway, pantry coordinator, "and we just pray that it helps out for that little bit that we can give."

Holloway joined a group of her church members several years ago to assist those most in need in their community, which resulted in the opening of the Cedar Ridge Food Pantry.

Volunteers now serve between 120 and 150 families each month who live in the Cedar Ridge School District, which covers an almost 200-mile area.

"It's just something that we volunteered for and got started, and it's turned into a full-time job," said Holloway, smiling.

The food pantry thrives mostly on donations, though Independence County contributes some funds yearly.

Proceeds from the in-house thrift store also offset some operating costs, but, no matter what money comes in, it all goes to help provide people within a certain income bracket with enough food to usually last two or three days.

"I'd like to be able to give enough food for a week," Holloway added, "but we just can't afford it because we have to buy the food."

Supplies are normally stretched thin around the holiday season, and this year is no different.

"If you can bring three cans of canned goods a week, that helps someone, and it make you feel better," said Candace Shirley, a volunteer. "Go to the grocery store, throw a few extra cans in the basket and bring it to us."

Fewer donations, however, may put the pantry's Thanksgiving plans on hold.

There's historically been enough food to provide people with extra before the holiday, but Holloway says that's nearly impossible this year.

"It has always been to where somebody has donated, and now nobody has stepped forward this year," she said. "So, right now, I do not see us giving a Thanksgiving box."

The food pantry can proceed with its Thanksgiving plans if, and only if, people donate additional money, food or even their time.

To get involved, people are asked to call the pantry at 870-834-4036 or stop by its location at 110 Fourth Street in Oil Trough.  

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