“We need all the help we can get,” Food bank in need of volunteers, donations ahead of holidays

There are several ways to help keep families from going hungry.
From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 12:22 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2023 at 6:41 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) -The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas held Fill the Food Bank last week, but fell about 75,000 meals short of its goal. Now, the organization is facing a mounting shortage just before the holiday season.

Rebecca Hendrix, chief development officer at the food bank, said this problem isn’t new. In fact, it seems to be getting worse over time.

“Donations have been down so much in the past year because of inflation and just how much it costs to buy groceries,” she said. “It makes it hard for people to give.”

The organization has 200,000 fewer pounds of food on its shelves this year compared to a year ago. Even then, though, the food bank was in the midst of a shortage.

The donations received for Fill the Food Bank will be enough to get through Thanksgiving, but they are still very short of their goals.

Hendrix says there are several ways to help, even outside of donating food items and money.

“We’re really struggling with our food pantries to get volunteers to those individual locations,” Hendrix said. “We need young people that can go and lift boxes and be there on a regular basis so our food pantries aren’t struggling as much.”

If you or someone you know need food before the Thanksgiving holiday, Hendrix said to check in with your local food pantry, though supplies will likely be extremely limited this close to the holiday.

For the greater holiday season, however, Hendrix hopes enough donations will come in so that all tables will be filled with food and smiles.

For more information on how you can donate or volunteer or to find the food pantry nearest you, visit the food bank’s website here.

Additionally, the final commodity distribution event ahead of Thanksgiving will take place Wednesday, Nov. 22, at the Pocahontas Community Center from 9 a.m. until food runs out.