Food Bank program will continue

Food Bank program will continue
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A program with the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas will continue because of a much-needed grant.

The Food Bank of NEA received a grant from the Arkansas Community Foundation for $5,000.

That money will be used to continue their program Cooking Matters.

The program was first launched as a pilot program last year.

Program Director Erin King said that its success shows just how much it's needed.

"There is a huge need in Arkansas," King said. "We are consistently one of the top in the nation as far as hunger. We serve over 5,000 individuals a week through our various programs and partner agencies.

King said the Cooking Matters program is hosted in a grocery store where they teach customers how to shop smart.

"We educate," King said. "We go into the grocery stores and help teach them how to shop healthy and how to stretch their dollar. How they can put healthy and nutritious food on the table for their families that won't break the bank."

King said the pilot program had a huge response last year.

"We can't possibly overstate how successful this program has been," King said. "We do an exit survey for participants. 25% said they were doing healthy shopping tips. Like checking for nutrition and whole grains. But after the program about 60% of participants said that they now planned to start looking at nutrition labels, comparing unit prices and looking for whole grains. So, you can't possibly overstate how big a difference this is making."

Last year they took the cooking matters program into all 12 counties they serve.

With this funding, King said they are trying to host an event once a quarter.

They will be taking the Cooking Matters program into Crittenden, Jackson, and St. Francis counties.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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