LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The cost of food continues to rise across the country. Healing Waters Outreach Center is a food pantry located in Mabelvale that has felt the impact of inflation. Before covid, they partnered with several different businesses in the community serving around 50,000 people in the area.
Pastor at Healing Waters Outreach Center, Robert Holt, said that they have seen a 40% increase in the number of people they serve. On a weekly basis, Holt said, “we are seeing around 300 to 350 families.”
Single mother of three, Jasmine Randle, said that this food pantry has helped her family tremendously.
“It made it easier for me because you know you have that struggle when it’s just you and you just got babies. Sometimes you can’t work, sometimes you can’t afford the things that you need, ” said Randle.
Randle said she began picking up bags every other week, starting in December. She also said that if she makes a special request for a food item, she is never told no.
“I never get turned away… it’s always a yes. Since I have started coming to this, I would say it’s like home. “
The pantry partners with businesses in the community to reach anywhere from around 70,000 to 72,000 people.
“Help is needed…. you know. You should never be scared to ask or have a big pride to um, not ask for help,” said Randle.
The pantry gives away bags of food every Sunday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.