ARMA – Pittsburg State University student Mackenzie Spaulding will be collecting donations of dry pasta and pasta sauce, as well as monetary donations, to help stock the shelves of the Arma’s food pantry located in Arma City Library.


Why Arma?


In Kansas, Crawford County experiences some of the highest levels of poverty and food insecurity, and Arma experiences one of the highest rates of poverty and food insecurity in the county, as previously reported. Arma’s hunger and poverty problems are affected mainly by geographical barriers. The closest supermarket to Arma is approximately nine miles away, and the only place to get groceries is a convenience store located across a busy highway. Due to these geographical barriers, Arma is on the verge of being considered a food desert. In a rural area, like Arma, the qualifications of a food desert and for federal funding is being 10 miles to the closest supermarket. Without funding, Arma citizens struggle to have access to affordable and healthy food, a press release from Spaulding said.


What is being done to help?


To help combat food insecurity and food barriers, Arma has partnered with Live Well Crawford County, a program designed to help Crawford County in the areas of health and exercise. Through this program, a community garden was started in May of 2019 in Arma. The garden supplies the community and its residents with fresh vegetables. More recently, Arma City Library has designated space for a food pantry. The pantry is currently empty, so they are seeking donations of dry pasta and pasta sauce as well as monetary donations to help the pantry get up and running, the release said.


Previously, Spaulding planned on having several donation boxes around Pittsburg. Since the university is now closed and there is a health risk involved in going out in public, she has decided to collect monetary donations on a Facebook fundraiser page: Stock the Shelves of Arma.


Arma food pantry is also looking for companies who are willing to donate fresh fruit on a monthly basis to provide consistent, healthy, and sustainable food items to Arma residents. Companies interested can contact Spaulding via phone, text or email. To learn more about this fundraiser, contact Spaulding at 913-461-6689 or through email at mspaulding@gus.pittstate.edu