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story.lead_photo.caption Camille Wrinkle, Harvest Texarkana Regional Food Bank executive director, lends a helping hand as she loads up another car with food. "Events like this are all hands on deck," she said. All families received three boxes of food, which included fruits and vegetables, canned foods, and one box of frozen meat, as well as milk. Photo by Junius Stone / Texarkana Gazette.

A huge waiting line of vehicles wound its way into Four States Fairgrounds under a bright sun on Wednesday.

Workers feeling the summertime heat but not letting that slow them down loaded up food into these vehicles.

The workers, a force of volunteers, were there to make sure that Harvest Texarkana Regional Food Bank's Third Texarkana Mobile Pantry rolled on without a hitch.

Despite the heat and the hauling, they managed to do just that.

Not letting others do all the work, Camille Wrinkle, Harvest Texarkana's executive director, took up the task herself.

"At things like this, it is all hands on deck," she said. "We've got enough food here to serve at least a thousand households. Each household gets four boxes, including milk, fresh fruits, vegetables, frozen meats, some shelf-stable items."

Harvest Texarkana's mission was to ensure the families would be able to go home with a load of food that could be easily prepared for meals.

"This is simple, nutritious food," she said. "But each of our mobile pantries so far has been different. We never know exactly what to expect. However, our numbers show that there has been a 55 percent increase in need for hunger relief since March."

Wrinkle expects that the difficult economic times some are going through has contributed to the increase in need.

"Some have lost their jobs. There's been some business closures, both temporary and permanent," she said. "All that has translated into a greater level of need at this time. Over the next six months, some organizations say there may be a possible 45 percent increase in need for hunger relief. So we will still need help in getting our community through this.

"Whatever you want to give, time, funds, food, whatever you can bring to the table, it all helps," she said. "We may need to provide an additional half-million pounds of foot over the next six months to meet coming need. We have received funds and grants to help out, but we could not do this without the huge amount of community support. All of that has allowed us to accept more and larger food donations as well as be able to get the food to those who need it."

Visit Harvest Texarkana Regional Food Bank on Facebook, or call 870-774-1398. They are located at 3120 E. 19th St. Texarkana, Arkansas.

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