New Online Database Will Help Tackle Food Insecurities in NWA

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A new online tool could help decrease the number of hungry families in Northwest Arkansas. 

Over 60,000 people in the area are food insecure. Thanks to the Walmart Foundation and the new online food insecure database, finding hunger relief just got easier.

The Northwest Arkansas Foodbank says it isn’t just an online map but a chance to provide relief for those who may go hungry.

“We’ll be able to easily look at the map and see areas of need and we’ll determine if we need to put a food pantry there, or if we’ll have a mobile pantry there,” says Kent Eikenberry, Northwest Arkansas Food Bank CEO.

Eikenberry says this tool will help better serve those in need, like the 20% of people that are food insecure in Winslow.

“There’s a lot of need. We can’t provide food for the whole month but we can put a dent in it,” says Perry Hall, owner of Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry.

The Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Winslow is the only resource within miles. Hall says this new tool will help show the seriousness of the need in his area.

“One lady had come in and she had lost a lot of weight and I had wondered if she was sick or something. What she’d been doing is giving her food to her kids so we tried to up her food a little bit,” says Hall.

“When you get off the main streets; when you get into the Winslows, the Elkins, the Huntsville’s, those guys are hungry and their tummies don’t care if they live in Madison County or downtown Rogers,” says Eikenberry.

Hall says because it’s the only pantry in the area, they aren’t able to fully serve everyone in need.

“You get 10 people coming in here and you get really frustrated, but you get that one family who comes in here and it’s worth it,” says Hall.

With the new tool, the food bank says the future looks bright.

“We need to find a way to help them and this tool will help us identify areas that we need to work on. Ultimately I think it will have a big impact on everybody’s movement across the market,” says Eikenberry.

The food bank says it’s taking a close look at the map to see where it needs to step in. For more information on the database, click here.

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