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Nonprofit in Garland County feels the effects of rising food prices

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Hot Springs, Arkansas – Food insecurity and skyrocketing food prices are affecting a lot of individuals in Arkansas.

They also mentioned that a Hot Springs nonprofit that provides meals to the hungry in Garland County is dealing with some of the similar problems.

Jackson House has been helping the homeless, veterans, seniors, and families in need for over 40 years, according to Tammy Jones, Assistant Director of the organization. Although food is their primary offering, Jones claims they also provide clothing.

“One in three people in Garland County are food insecure,” Jones said.

According to Jones, this year they are experiencing the effects of the food price spike following the pandemic.

“We received donations from all the buffets in town and the restaurants pre-Covid. That stopped when the restaurants came back into business,” Jones said.

Because of the pandemic, eateries began preparing meals to serve instead of donating excess, according to Jones. That, according to Jones, is why they had to start sourcing and preparing their own meals.

“We’re purchasing more food than ever before,” Jones stated.

According to Jones, one of the challenges is the high prices of some of the food.

“We are asking for donations daily. Raising money, that’s the hardest part for any non-profit, especially a soup kitchen or pantry,” Jones stated.

Jones estimates that they serve 20 customers during lunch, but they expect that number to rise after the school year ends.

One of the first people in line was Kimberly Jones, who brought her kid along and expressed how much the free food from the Jackson House meant to them.

“Food is so high you know what I mean they cut peoples food stamps and like that it’s hard to live in an economy now to have this place is very awesome,” Jones said.

Ashley Gilbert explains that, due to the high cost of groceries, she cannot afford to feed her son without access to the Jackson House lunch program.

“It’s been killing us to have things go up as much as they have.” Gilbert stated. “It’s a huge relief to be able to come here and grab the food.”

Tammy Jones mentioned that their annual donation event is approaching, so they are hoping that this will assist sustain their efforts in addition to community support.

 

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