The food pantry at The Salvation Army in Conway has depleted most of its stock, in part because of the weather, said Capt. David Robinson, corps officer.
“We’re just in dire need of canned goods, any dry goods,” he said. “This has been a hard winter. People are spending more on their electric bills and having to spend more on food, and they’re having to make choices.”
Debbie Hendrix, social services director, said she picked up an order March 13 from the Arkansas Rice Depot.
“This month, they had turkeys, which was an awesome thing,” Hendrix said. “Tuesday morning, I gave the last three away. I”m down to rice and canned goods.”
Hendrix said she gives away about 45 food boxes a week, up from about 35 to 37 boxes a week last year at this time.
She said people who request food boxes must show proof of income, proof of residence and a photo identification.
Hendrix said the food shortage is compounded because a Conway grocery store has stopped donating food each month. She was told by a store employee, “They can’t give out any more to nonprofits,” Hendrix said.
“Then, I have a gentleman who goes to all the Harps, and they give him all their stuff that is going to be out of date, but it’s not, yet, and he distributes to all the nonprofits — lettuce, and cheese and fried chicken, that type thing,” she said.
Robinson said The Salvation Army has to compete with other agencies who need food, too.
“A lot of people we talk
to, they give it to CAPCA (Community Action Program of Central Arkansas) or a lot of the other churches that have big food pantries. They do a great job; it’s being used,” he said.
Still, the refrigerators at The Salvation Army are empty, and the shelves are getting bare, he said. Although he said the organization got a “huge shipment” of baby wipes, The Salvation Army needs food items.
He said people can donate a variety of items, including rice, beans, vegetables, canned meats, macaroni and cheese, stew, chili, peanut butter, jelly and cereal.
Robinson said donations may be taken to The Salvation Army office, 2125 Harkrider St., Suite 12, from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to noon Fridays. Donations of food also may be taken to The Salvation Army Family Store, 2125 Harkrider St., Suite 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.