Harvest Regional Food Bank seeks support to fight hunger 8 in counties; Congressman Bruce Westerman attends relief program

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 5:10 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2023 at 10:03 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - A regional food bank pitched its case Tuesday, March 14 for more help to fight hunger and food insecurities in the area.

Congressman Bruce Westerman provided a helping hand at Harvest Regional Food Bank in Texarkana. He attended to learn about the food bank’s relief programs and the impact of hunger on low-income residents in the area.

“One in five people in our area is struggling with hunger on a daily basis,” said Camille Wrinkle, the food bank’s executive director. Children and senior citizens make up a large number of the 60,000 people they serve each year, she added.

“We got the farm bill coming up every five years,” Westerman said. “We do a farm bill in Congress, and a lot of programs in the farm bill can be used to help in food banks.”

This was the congressman’s first visit, but he said the situation here is the same as other food banks in Arkansas and gave his support to work being done here.

“With the pandemic, the numbers skyrocketed. With every food bank and pantry I’ve talked to, they told me here before the pandemic, they were serving around 3 million pounds of food per year, but it spiked up to about 6 million during the pandemic,” Westerman said.

Harvest Regional Food Bank serves eight counties in Arkansas and Texas. The food bank has been around for 25 years.

“With inflation putting more stress on family budgets, more people are depending on food banks and pantries, so this really serves a great need,” Westerman said.