Arkansas food pantries need items to help feed the rising number of families without enough food to eat.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Arkansas ties Mississippi when it comes to household hunger rate, at 19.2 percent. That puts Arkansas at the top of the list.
The numbers come from families surveyed who consistently had trouble putting food on the table. More than half of these households report being on government assistance, like SNAP, reduced lunch programs at schools, or WIC food vouchers.
Johnny Jackson made his first trip to the food pantry Wednesday. In his cupboard at home he says he has "nothing but a few canned goods and that is it."
His cousin, Carolyn Davis, told him about the Central Baptist Food Pantry that she's been going to for four years.
"I'm on low income and don't hardly get any food stamps," says Davis.
Pastor Dale Prater says the need is growing. "I think there is a greater need; the rising price of food and the price of fuel."
Those in need are able to pick up bags which include cereal, canned food, bread, and pizza. Jackson says he can't afford these items right now because of other expenses.
To help local food pantries, you can donate to the Arkansas Food Bank, which provides food to local pantries. The Food Bank says every $1 donated can distribute three meals. There is also a list of food pantries available across the state at the Arkansas Food Bank website.
The most-needed items at food banks are:
- Canned meats/fish/poultry
- Peanut butter
- Canned vegetables
- Canned fruits
- 100 percent juices
- Pasta and pasta sauces
You can read more information about the Arkansas Food Bank by viewing this fact sheet (.PDF): http://on.kthv.com/Q5wnXq
Follow Pam on Twitter @pbaccam.