At the food pantry in Cherry Valley in rural Northeast Arkansas, clients start lining up hours before its 10am opening. The pantry is open every Tuesday for two hours, unlike other pantries that open once or twice a month.
“In this area, they just can’t go a whole month without us,” said director Joan Ball.
Ball and other advocates for the poor worry that business will pick up at pantries and soup kitchens if food stamp work requirements drafted as part of the 2018 Farm Bill end up becoming law. Ball said the last two weeks of the month are already the busiest as people who’ve already spent their food stamps seek additional ways to feed themselves or their families.