Food bank offers helping hand to Lawrence County residents
WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (KAIT) - Despite rising food costs and supply chain issues, one Northeast Arkansas charity continues to feed the needs of its community.
The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas hosted a commodity distribution Wednesday, March 8, at the National Guard Armory in Walnut Ridge.
Due to inflation, the food bank remains affected in several ways.
The supply chain varies for the food bank, especially when food prices increase. However, the food supply has not gotten better or worse since it first began struggling to stock shelves in November 2021.
Jennifer Hannah, development officer for The Food Bank of NEA, said that inflation mainly affects their clients.
The majority of NEA is considered rural, and Lawrence County is classified as low access. Low access areas do not have a nearby grocery store. According to Hannah, there are roughly 2,800 people suffering food insecurity in the Walnut Ridge area.
“People are making decisions as to what they should spend their money on. Gas to get to a grocery store, and then spend money on groceries, or to go someplace like a gas station and get what’s convenient and what’s cheap, which may not always be the healthiest,” Hannah said.
Hannah elaborated on the reason why commodity distributions are important.
“We get a lot of people saying, ‘I have diabetes’ or ‘I have high blood pressure, and I need a specific diet,’ and this food really helps them prolong and improve their quality of life,” she said.
To qualify for commodities, certain guidelines must be met depending on how many people are in the household and the household’s combined monthly income.
To verify income eligibility, visit the Food Bank of NEA’s website under Commodity Distribution Program for more information.
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