Food banks continue to serve people in need, even those with food allergies

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – A problem affecting many nationwide and in Region 8 is food insecurity and allergy and food intolerance problems.

Officials with Helping Neighbors Food Pantry say they see the problem a lot.

Since 1995, the pantry has given out 4.1 million pounds of food.

“The average person that picks up gets between 35 and 80 pounds and it depends on the size of the family,” says Liz Ivener, coordinator at Helping Neighbors Food Pantry.

Although they give out thousands of pounds of food each day, they have to watch out for various aspects, including food allergies and intolerances.

Ivener is also a dietitian. She helps a lot when it comes to food allergies.

“We don’t say that we are going to serve modified diets but certainly we can if we are aware of an allergy. We can pull things that have those and we can have some alternate that we can give the client, so we are not giving them something they are allergic to,” says Ivener.

Items containing peanut butter are a staple in their senior packs and their kid packs, but it is also a leading allergy to many.

So, they make sure to have other options for people that are allergic.

Starting July 1, the food pantry will use a database to keep track of clients with various allergies or diet restrictions. This will help the volunteers prepare bags better beforehand.

Copyright 2021 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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