Volunteers spent hours at the National Guard Armory in Walnut Ridge Wednesday, gifting Lawrence County families with bags of food, as part of the food bank of Northeast Arkansas’ commodity distribution program. Travis Johnson and his jumpstart ministries team are regulars.
“Every three months or so…we’ll come out here.,” says Johnson. “We try to give back to the community. By helping out, passing out food. It’s just…it’s a blessing.”
Each plastic bag was stocked full of canned goods, peanut butter, beans and even frozen chicken. The pantry provides free emergency food assistance for the underprivileged. It curbs food shortages, specifically, for individuals at or below poverty levels.
“A lot of people are trying to figure out whether to buy medicine or buy groceries. And this is not going to give them a full month’s supply of groceries, but it’s going to help supplement that,” explains USDA food coordinator, Keith Livsay. “So it’s very important. There are a lot of people out there that’s in need.”
Staff packed enough food to feed three hundred and sixty families, according to USDA food coordinator Keith Livsay. It’s an event that he says would not be possible without key helpers like Cassandra Lane, whose been a volunteer for years.
“Some people may not have what they need for the holidays. I help with the commodities…I help with home health when I need to,” says Lane.
The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas commodity distribution program is provided four to five times a year, in eleven counties across the Arkansas Delta.
A full schedule of Food Bank N-E-A commodity distribution dates and times can be found www.foodbanknea.org/commodity-distribution-program.