Mary thanks God for her local food pantries, especially as inflation restricts her family’s already limited income.

“If it wasn’t for that, I get $ 100 to spend on food every month from disability (benefits),” said Mary, an Alma resident who preferred not to give her last name. “Between me and my husband, we only make $ 2,200 dollars a month and our bills are $ 1,800, so go figure.”

Like many families whose food choices are dictated by factors such as income, health conditions and transportation access, Mary often faces constraints outside of her control. However, some of this burden was lifted as she shopped at the Western Arkansas Community / Child Development Food Pantry April 9 distribution.

Unlike the other pantries where every person receives the same box of food, Mary was able to hand-select the food she needed as she followed the line outside the Crawford County District Court in Van Buren.

“It’s awesome that you can get a choice because I waste a lot of stuff because it’s stuff that we don’t eat,” Mary said. “… We’re not picky at all. I’ve got one (family member) that’s gluten-free, so that’s hard on her … It’s a lot easier just to walk through here and pick what you want. ”

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