The Mena Seventh-Day Adventist Church food pantry, located at 149 Polk Road 43 across from the Polk County Fairgrounds, is scheduled to re-open on January 16th. The pantry will provide individuals and families with non-perishable food, personal care items, and nutritional help. Everyone will be served and no one will be turned away.
For the past several years the Mena Seventh-Day Adventist Church has operated a soup kitchen and food pantry on Tuesdays. In an effort to be more accessible to the working poor, the decision was made to close the soup kitchen and expand the food pantry, with hours of operation that made it accessible to those who work.
The new hours of operation for the food pantry will be from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month. According to Pat Lawry, Community Services Director of the Mena Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the mission of the food pantry is to work with other food pantries in the area to eliminate hunger in our community by providing food to fill the basic needs of hungry people. “We hope that our afternoon and early evening hours will be convenient for those who aren’t able to get to a food pantry during the morning hours. As we looked at the hours of operations of other ministries in the area, we saw that people who worked during the day didn’t have access to food pantries,” Lawry explained.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, over 16% of the residents of Polk County suffer from household food insecurity. Arkansas ranked 2nd in the nation in the number of people facing food insecurity. The USDA defines food security as access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. The defining characteristic of food insecurity is that, at times during the year, the food intake of household members is reduced and their normal eating patterns are disrupted because the household lacks money and other resources for food.
For more information, please call 479-234-2373.