PINE BLUFF, Ark. – A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows Arkansas had the highest rate of food insecurity among other US states.

With the holiday season ahead, one food pantry in Pine Bluff is aiming to make a difference in their community.

Debra Allen, the Director of the First Ward Living Grace Food Pantry says that she sees first-hand the struggles some people in her community face and hopes they can help out.

“Make sure no one goes hungry, and there’s a lot of it going on, but that’s my mission,” Allen said.

It’s the season of giving, and the First Ward Living Grace Food Pantry gave out nearly 500 boxes of food in Pine Bluff Sunday afternoon.

“The kids are out, I didn’t just want to give thanksgiving, I wanted to have foods for the kids because they’re out a whole week,” Allen said.

Giving away more than just holiday foods, Allen wanted the pantry to go above and beyond for this giveaway.

“We have a lot of people in our area that are in need of food, and that’s why we do so much support to the pantry, so that we make sure we’re doing our part as well,” Allen said.

Tiffany Curengton with Super 1 Foods along with Tyson, the Arkansas Food Bank and other sponsors were lending a helping hand to curve the issue of food insecurity in Jefferson County.

“So it’s very important for pantries to do it more it is real bad in Pine Bluff,” Curengton said.

Allen says it’s important to give around thanksgiving and the holidays, but also to not forget about the needs people have year-round.

“They’ve got to eat, what about the 10th month, so they’ve got to eat every day,” Allen said.

Allen says she couldn’t do it alone and is thankful for every volunteer.
She says this is just the beginning to helping this holiday season, during the Christmas holiday, she’ll be back at it.