Tyson Foods, Inc. presented Harvest Regional Food Bank with a $50,000 donation to continue its Mobile Pantry programs in Howard, Pike, and Hempstead Counties.

With the recent rise in hunger relief throughout Southwest Arkansas and Northeast Texas due to the COVID-19 crisis, Harvest has expanded its Mobile Pantry program to address food insecurity in both rural and more populated counties. In 2011, Harvest established the Mobile Pantry program to provide food directly to those communities with the fewest hunger relief options. The food bank began quarterly distributions in two counties and has increased to monthly mobile distributions to meet increased need across its 10-county region.

“Since March, Harvest has seen a sixty percent increase in the need for hunger relief, and has already distributed one million more pounds than the same time in 2019,” said Camille Coker Wrinkle, Executive Director. “We do not expect the need to decrease in the near future, and this generous gift will help us continue serving food insecure families throughout southwest Arkansas.” “Tyson Foods is proud to continue our partnership with Harvest Regional Food Bank by awarding another $50,000 grant again this year.

The money will primarily be used to expand the mobile food pantry in Southwest Arkansas,” said Tem Gunter, Complex HR Manager for Tyson of Nashville. “Camille and her team at Harvest have really done a fantastic job meeting the increased demand for food brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, Harvest distributed 3.2M meals and served over 60,000 individuals in Southwest Arkansas and Northeast Texas. Both states consistently rank in the top 10 for the highest incidents of hunger. Nearly 20 percent of our local residents miss meals due to food insecurity, including 1 in 4 children. Harvest works to eliminate hunger through its Food Banking, Food Rescue, School Backpack and Mobile Pantry programs.