TEXARKANA, Ark. -- U.S. House Rep. Bruce Westerman visited a local food bank on Tuesday afternoon.
Camille Wrinkle, executive director of Harvest Texarkana Regional Food Bank, said it was very encouraging that Westerman (AR-04) stopped by.
"It gives us the chance to bring awareness to the issue of hunger of Southwest Arkansas, in the counties that we serve. And hopefully, that information will go back with them, and you know, have an influence on some of the decisions that are made in D.C.," Wrinkle said.
Westerman was given a tour of the facility and spoke with volunteers who were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from Utah.
Westerman said a lot of the programs in the upcoming Arkansas farm bill are used to help with food banks.
"Before the pandemic, they (Harvest Texarkana) were serving about 3 million pounds of food a year, which spiked up to about 6 million pounds during the pandemic. And now they're down about 4.5 million pounds," Westerman said.
Westerman said with inflation putting more stress on family budgets, more people are dependent on food banks.
The food bank, in partnership with Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, granted a check for $1,100 to Christ Church.
The church's spokesperson, Linda Crawford, detailed how she and the food bank partnered together to bring nourishment to those in need.
"We have a very generous church, and we tried to raise between $5,000 and $7,000 a year to fund our rural schools that aren't able to fund themselves," Crawford said.
Wrinkle said the organization uses grant funding, fundraisers, donations and a small staff with multiple duties to be successful.
Wrinkle revealed new room refrigeration additions that allow for storage of food that isn't shelf-stable, and she talked about the organization's partnerships with nearby food banks.
"We've done where we're purchasing a truckload where we don't need a truckload of a certain item, and neither do they, so we split things to keep costs down," Wrinkle said.
To learn more about Harvest Regional Food Bank, visit: harvestregionalfoodbank.org