TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Higher food prices are making it tough for the Harvest Regional Food Bank in Texarkana as food insecurity continues to increase.

“Our costs have nearly doubled what we’ve had to spend on purchased food, and that’s because of the cost of food, as well as the decrease of USDA foods that have been available that we usually get,” said Executive Director of Harvest Regional Food Bank Camille Wrinkle.

Wrinkle says the increase in food costs has also affected their daily customers.

“There’s been an increase of need, just across-the-board, especially in our rural areas where we consider those food deserts where there’s not availability of nutritious foods.”

Over the last year, the official Feeding America food bank that serves Bowie County and Southwest Arkansas distributed over 4.5 million meals.

“Our service area continues to include about 60,000 individuals that are struggling with hunger, many of those are seniors, and about a fourth of those are children under the age of 18.”

Wrinkle says the supply chain issues have also negatively affected the variety of staple foods they are able to offer. She says they are taking all measures to overcome challenges going into this next year.

“We’re very lucky that we have such a strong base of community support and we’ve been able to rely on our community support and funding to be able to purchase the foods that we need to continue providing a variety of nutritious foods.”