FEEDING THE Hungry
The Regional Food Pantry is addressing the food insecurities of the region through the organization’s many programs. Hunger affects the young, the old. The sick, the homeless, and the lives of many. The faces of hunger are all around us. The decision to place information in strategic locations can help reach those with inadequate food securities. The organization’s programs are beneficial not only to the many people living with hunger, but also to those agencies that help with limited food securities. Accordingly, collaborating with other agencies, the organization’s programs are helping many people who fail to have access to proper nutrition. Thus, the people who suffer from hunger can be found in every nation. All we have to do is pick up the newspaper, turn on the TV, radio, or computer. In the state,”18.8% of Arkansas live below the poverty line and can’t afford to eat. That means 1 in 6 or your neighbors struggle with making ends meet and providing enough food for their families. Childhood poverty rate 27.6% compared to the National average 21.6%. Also, 10.2% of Arkansas over the age of 65 live below their poverty line and have to choose between food and medicine (ACS Survey).Arkansas is ranked 3rd in the nation for the most incidents of food insecurity. (USDA Survey).” (Delta Dream Food Pantry brochure). Similarly, food insecurities are as close as your next door neighbor, a family member, or even your own household. “Food insecurity rate in Lee County is 25.3%. Food insecurity number of individuals is 2,730. Percentage food insecurity below SNAP (food stamps) threshold of 130%* is 72%. Percentage insecure individuals 130% and 180%” (Delta Dream Food Pantry brochure) Lee County is one example of the many counties in the Delta that have food insecurities.
The demographics of people in areas with food securities vary widely. These individuals or families are identified with a number of reasons why access to food is limited. For example, the working poor that may fall at below the poverty line are in need of help with purchasing groceries. Too often, food is last on the list compared to housing utilities, medicine, and gasoline for work. Then, the food that is affordable may not be very nutritious. So, these families contact the nearest Department of Human Services for assistance. They may qualify for SNAP (food stamps), but it will take a few days before they know. According to phone conversation with a SNAP supervisor, “Everyone that comes in for SNAP assistance is informed and given a form to take by the food pantry, so that, they may get food until their case is reviewed.” (Shirley Mckisick, SNAP supervisor, St. Francis County, Arkansas). Likewise, the elderly and the sick suffer from food insecurities for the same reasons as the working poor, the lack of money. These individuals use the food pantry to supplement their food needs. Too often, they need proper nutrition to keep them as healthy as possible. Therefore, the food pantry is resource in assisting the elderly and adults living with disabilities or sickness with good nutritious food. Moreover, the most precious demographics in need of good nutrition is children of all ages. Early intervention of good nutrition helps with the development of children to grow, develop their brains, to strengthen their muscles, and their overall health. Children with limited food insecurities have challenges each day. They are in need of food that is provided by the food pantry. This will assist with learning in school. Also, help out at home when food is available. The food pantry is a great resource for people with limit food insecurities. The Regional Food Pantry programs are varied and designed the help those with limited food insecurities. The School Back Pack