High Plains Food Bank mobile pantry hits the road

The High Plains Food Bank hit the road Friday afternoon to Memphis with their mobile pantry.

Hall County has the highest percentage of people at-risk of going hungry than any of the 29 counties they cover.

A line of cars stretched nearly half a mile long as they waited for the "family box" that comes every month.

The 35 pounds of food include items such as pasta, rice, and beans.

"We don't have a pantry in that community, in that county at all," said Broc Carter High Plains Food Bank Communications Director. "There are four towns but Memphis is where we have our direct mobile distribution of the mobile pantry. Why we go there is because they have such a high food insecurity rate and we don't have a pantry. We are really the only food pantry on the ground in Hall County."

That food insecurity affects one out of every four people in the county.

"They have 21.3 percent of people that live in that community on a monthly basis that struggle with not having enough food to put on the table," said Carter.

Based on income and a family size, the High Plains Food Bank along with volunteers, the county extension agent, and red marble church, gave out 359 boxes to those who qualified for help.

"It's really a community effort, it's not just us. Definitely having the county extension agent is good because they know that county like the back of their hand," said Carter. "They know the people, they know who's in need and so they work with us to source people and get them qualified."

It's one box for every two people in a family.

Although it was three hours of constant work for volunteers, officials say it's the people they helped that made it well worth it.

"You know the thing is, they're just so sweet. A lot of seniors, a lot of single parents, they're just the sweetest people and they're very, very kind and grateful."

Because many rural areas don't have easy access to a pantry, the High Plains Food Bank considers their mobile pantry to be very important to counties such as Hall, Armstrong, Oldham, and Hardeman.

Friday afternoon, 215 families were helped.