Food bank distribution emptied in an hour

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:37 PM CST
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PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - It took about an hour Wednesday before the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas ran out of food during its drive-thru commodity distribution.

Dozens of cars flooded the parking lot of the Paragould Community Center on Nov. 15 to receive free food.

Jennifer Hannah, chief programs officer with the food bank, said the demand is extremely high.

“It’s not really anything new,” she said. “We’ve heard it over and over again, how hard it is to get groceries.”

Several who attended said the rising price of groceries is what made them come.

“Groceries have gotten so high,” said Lisa Morris. “So, we drove by. We thought we could get some help.”

Earl Gibson of Paragould also stopped by the event. He said his social security check “ain’t paying much,” so he took advantage of this opportunity.

“I get $1,400 a month,” he said. “And it doesn’t go far with the cost of everything skyrocketing.”

The food bank is hosting its annual ‘Fill the Food Bank’ event on Friday, Nov. 17, at the Kroger Marketplace in Jonesboro from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Hannah said the event is their biggest food and fundraiser of the year. The goal is to give 350,000 meals to local families in need.

“It seems like a really lofty goal for us, and it is,” Hannah said. “But that’s just how hard it is right now to get food in the hands of people who need it.”

She said it typically takes about two weeks during the holiday season before that amount of food is gone.

“So, we are trying to stock up our warehouse before the holidays,” she said.

Click here to see how you can donate to this year’s ‘Fill the Food Bank.’