Monday, November 27, 2023

Food Banks In Fort Smith Ar

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How Does A Food Pantry Work

NWA Food Bank prepares for Turkey Drive 2021

Food Banks acquire large donations of edible but unmarketable food from the food industry and distribute it to organizations that feed hungry people. Then they provide this food to family in a need.

Our vision is simpleâbring financial security, dignity, and savings to the millions experiencing financial stress.

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Sizes Of Food Banks In Fort Smith

Revenues per organization

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Mobile Food Pantry Schedule 2022

Unlike traditional food pantries where you go to them, mobile pantry trucks come to you. Food banks sometimes have an online mobile food pantry schedule.

Mobile food pantry scheduled to visit a community once a week or once a month. There may be last-minute cancellations or changes so recheck the mobile food pantry schedule before you plan to go.

We have located 0 Mobile Food Pantry locations in Fort Smith, Model.Content.StateName which provides a wide array of services. We have partnered so you can also check your eligibility.

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St Vincent De Paul Food Pantry

The St. Vincent de Paul food pantry operates around Fort Smith, Arkansas much like a grocery store where people in need can choose their own food. It helps to enhance their personal dignity and reduces waste due to unwanted food items.

It also helps them to be proactive in addressing any underlying health issues. This is our model of choice for food pantries in the future.

We have located 0 St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry locations in Fort Smith, Arkansas which provides a wide array of services. We have partnered so you can also check your eligibility.

New Designs And Expanded Offerings

Fort Smith AR Food Pantries

With an open pantry exposed to the elements comes many issues including weather, vandalism, and limitations on the types of food items.

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, located at 2100 Cavanaugh Road, has encountered issues with people placing perishable items into their little food pantry including produce and packages of raw chicken. Pastor Richard Davenport said the church had to place a sign on the box with a reminder to only donate nonperishable items.

I absolutely understand the sentiment, and people wanting to help other people, but its not a good way to do it, Davenport said.

Instead, he encourages donations of canned goods, cereal and other foods that will be safe to consume after sitting in the box.

During colder temperatures, St. Bartholomews found a way to work with the weather to include more perishable items.

One thing we were able to really use the giving box for was during the snow last year, people werent able to get out, but we were able to fix bags and leave them in the box Because it was so cold, we were even able to leave some of the frozen stuff out there, Leeper said.

Zeke Allen, the pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church, located at 2200 Phoenix Ave., and Cavanaugh United Methodist Church, located at 7205 Highway 271 South, updated both churches little food pantries by building new boxes with ventilation.

We bag it in paper sacks, and on a regular basis, there will be people waiting for us to put it in. It moves very quickly, Allen said.

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Helping Hands Food Pantry

Helping Hands is a faith-based 501 food pantry operated around Fort Smith, Arkansas almost entirely by volunteers.

It provides a 7-day supply of groceries and personal care items free of charge to people in need, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Helping Hands is supported entirely by donations from individuals, service organizations, churches, and businesses in our community.

We have located 1 Helping Hand Food Pantry locations in Fort Smith, Arkansas which provides a wide array of services. We have partnered so you can also check your eligibility.

Northwest Arkansas Food Bank


Northwest Arkansas Food Bank was established in 1988 by a group of concerned citizens who saw the need for hunger assistance in Benton, Washington, Madison and Carroll counties. In 2017 the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank distributed more than 12.5 million pounds of food. Together with more than 160 partner agencies, the food bank is able to reach out to those in need providing nutritious food to children, the working poor and senior citizens. The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank is an affiliate of Feeding America and a founding member of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.

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Fort Smith’s Tidwell Continues Building Community Through Antioch Youth And Family Food Pantry

FORT SMITH — Founder Charolette Tidwell started the Antioch Youth and Family nonprofit group knowing nothing about running a food pantry, but did have experience in health care and knowledge of the needs of River Valley residents.

Nearly 22 years later, the group now provides more than 800,000 meals for more than 10,400 people each year.

Tidwell credits that to the numerous programs, countless volunteers and growing location at 1122 N. 11th St.

Antioch’s website notes it comes from Tidwell’s passion and determination, which is what also led her to be one of the first Black women to attend Sparks School of Nursing. She also worked her way from charge nurse to head nurse in intensive care and finally the director of medical and surgical nursing in a matter of six years.

“I was in health care, so I saw the physical problems. I saw the mental anguish of clients. But I didn’t do it from a food perspective,” Tidwell said.

Tidwell explained Antioch’s mission is “feeding the body, feeding the mind and feeding the spirit with purpose and persistence.” She thinks identifying issues with purpose and persistence is what builds the utopia every community should strive for.

One purpose Antioch has identified is providing food and nutrition information to area children through the juvenile court system, providing mentoring, workforce, case work and emergency shelter programs for 13 years.

“She’s just a gem for our community,” Baker said about Tidwell.

From Little Wooden Box To Full

Regional Food Bank donates 32K pounds of pet food in the River Valley

Food insecurity is a widespread issue across Fort Smith. A 2019 study conducted by the Urban Institute found that one in four children was food insecure in Sebastian County. According to the Fort Smith School District, about 73% of students receive free or reduced lunch.

St. Bartholomew’s began placing non-perishable food items in the pantry, but the box would often empty out quickly with one person clear the whole thing out as opposed to taking what you need and leaving the rest, Briggs said.

In order to provide for more people and increase the types of food offered, St. Bartholomews opened a food pantry inside the church in 2020. The pantry serves anyone in need and has a special section for veterans.

“When I started it was a few bags of groceries and then we finally got to the system I use now, which is family bags packed with basic stuff in them, said Maranda Leeper, director of the food pantry. … We actually had to expand and buy more shelves. We have three freezers, and we work with the food bank.

The giving box now works in tandem with the churchs food pantry, helping the organization to reduce food waste.

When we see something that looks like its getting to a date where we dont feel like it is good to serve, we immediately put that in the giving box because we know itll go away very quickly, Briggs said.

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Thank You For Wanting To Help Feed The Hungry

This site exists to help connect you with the hunger relief efforts happening right in your community, whether you are wanting to make a donation, volunteer your time or donate food there is a place for you to help us in the fight against hunger.

There are six food banks in Arkansas who provide food to all of our 75 counties. These food banks serve as distribution sites for millions of pounds of food and other relief items that go out into the regions they serve each year. These millions of pounds of food are distributed to individuals and families in need by local food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other non-profit organizations that feed the hungry. To learn more about the work happening in your community just hover over your county on the map and it will link you to the food bank that serves your area.

Arkansas Foodbank

First Baptist Church Of Van Buren

Resources provided by the Catholic Charity organization focus on addressing food, holiday, and immigration needs.

Families of all religions, backgrounds, and cultures can contact Catholic Charity centers for help.

Catholic Charities in Fort Smith, Arkansas are open to families on a first-come, first-serve basis. The centers operate during normal business hours, and provide walk-ins with groceries, food boxes, and items to prepare a meal.

The food pantries are like grocery stores, allow clients the ability to choose the items they need from the groceries that are available on site.

First-time clients of the food pantry will need to apply, and this is done from a one-page application. An applicant will need to provide basic household member as well as demographic information.

We have located 0 Catholic Charities Food Pantry locations in Fort Smith, Arkansas which provides a wide array of services. We have partnered so you can also check your eligibility.

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Free Food Pantries Soup Kitchens And Food Banks In Sebastian County

Food programs in Sebastian County Arkansas are mostly offered by churches, charities as well as free emergency food pantries. A number of resources are provided to families in need, and range from perishable items like fruits, breads, and meats to canned goods. Hot meals like breakfast, lunch, or dinner are also offered in the Fort Smith Arkansas area. Hundreds of local families receive assistance on a monthly basis.

Many of the food banks, pantries near you and churches provide other help as well. This can range from referrals and information on federal government and state of Arkansas food assistance programs like SNAP, to details on where to pick up items like clothing or baby formula or personal hygiene supplies. Many pantries or soup kitchens also serve free Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter meals. There is also a referral number at the bottom of this page.

If you need help for you or your family, and need a place to turn to for free food, meals, or groceries, do not hesitate to call or stop by one of these Sebastian area food pantries or churches.

Cavanaugh Free Will Baptist Church Only has non-perishable food only, and anyone who needs help can call this local church. The address is 2825 Grinnell Street, Fort Smith, AR 72908, phone number is 646-2806

Central Christian ChurchLocation is 400 North Waldron Fort Smith, Arkansas 72903Provides meals, groceries and food for people in need.

Eastside Baptist Church

The Little Food Pantry Movement

Nonprofit plans to feed more than 1,000 at Fort Smith food giveaway

Barbie Johnson, a Fort Smith resident, had an idea to place the first little free pantry in the city in 2016.

Johnson wanted to bring joy and hope to her community during a difficult time in her life when she was missing her children who had grown and were traveling or moving away. She was inspired by Jessica McClard, who created the first little free pantry in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The Creekmore Park Community Pantry marked its fifth anniversary in September.

“Its a great help for those who find themselves in a hard spot, and then down the road, they end up … giving back, and thats just remarkable, Johnson said. Its really the way it should be.

Since 2016, there have been at least 18 little free pantries in operation in Fort Smith. Each is independently run and relies on donations from community members, nonprofits and religious organizations.

Some little pantries have disappeared or closed operations due to COVID-19. Currently, there are at least 10 active pantries across the city.

Linda Reed, the church secretary at St. Luke Lutheran Church, regularly stocks the food pantry at 5401 Free Ferry Road. We have some people who come and ring the doorbell. Before COVID, they would come and hug me, and all their kids would hug me, Reed said. They were just so grateful and appreciative.

She visits the pantry multiple times throughout the day, to ensure that multiple families can receive donations.

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River Valley Regional Food Bank

1617 South Zero, Fort Smith, AR, 72901


In June of 1986, the Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council in Fort Smith formed the River Valley Regional Food Bank to address hunger in the region. Today, the food bank, a partner with Feeding America, distributes more than 9.5 million pounds of food annually to people facing hunger in eight West Central Arkansas counties. Partnering with the food bank are 190 nonprofit agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, senior citizen centers, youth programs and emergency shelters. One in six people, and one in four children, suffer from food insecurity in the River Valley region.

Find Fort Smith Food Banks Food Pantries And Soup Kitchens Near You

Homelessness In America is a free Fort Smith directory. We hope you find our list of soup kitchens, food banks and food pantries helpful. If you can help, there are currently a tremendous number of nonprofits in Fort Smith in need of donations, supplies, and especially volunteers.

We are constantly building the most complete list of resources. Many people and soup kitchens, food banks, and food pantries are in desperate need of assistance. If you can donate or volunteer, please use the contact information we have listed for each organization. If you are in need of assistance, we have also compiled an exhaustive list of local resources.

Before Visiting Your Local Food Bank, Soup Kitchen, or Support Center:

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What Is The Difference Between A Food Bank And A Food Pantry

Independent community food pantries are self-governing and usually distribute food to their clients on a once-a-month basis. A food bank is the storehouse for millions of pounds of food and other products that go out to the community. A food pantry functions as the arms that reach out to that community directly.

Who Can Visit A Drive

Food Bank gives out food in Fayetteville

Drive-thru pantries are open for anyone who needs help getting food. There are no eligibility criteria. Visitors do not need to provide any identification or income statements.

Only two piece of information is asked

  • You Zipcode, and
  • Number of people in their family.

You dont need to take appointment. Drive-thru pantries are first-come, first served so plan to arrive early.

Also Check: Food Bank Of North Central Arkansas

Food Pantry In Fort Smith Arkansas

A number of food banks, soup kitchens for hot meals and free emergency food pantries in Fort Smith, Arkansas distribute groceries to individuals or families who are in some form of an emergency situation.

There are also meals, free bags of food, personal toiletries and household goods for low to moderate income families from food pantries near you.

Distribution centers can include churches, non-profit organizations, community action agencies, and many other local charities as well as non-profits.

Building Relationships To Care For Neighbors

While anonymity is one of the little free pantries assets, it also is a hurdle for those the pantries intend to serve.

Few givers and receivers will see each other at the boxes, helping to lessen the shame and stigma of food insecurity. However, the disconnection makes it difficult to establish relationships with those who need more support.

Accepting help requires courage and vulnerability, and by forging a relationship, theyre more able to help you in other ways if youre known to them, Briggs said. It doesnt mean that we want to be in all of your business, but we know who you are, and we know when we see you.

For individuals who make the transition from the giving box to the food pantry, St. Bartholomews offers connections to additional aid, whether its referring them to another service or sometimes they just need somebody to listen, Leeper said.

On their own, little free pantries will not solve food insecurity. For local leaders, the little boxes are a starting place in the fight against hunger.

“It doesnt really provide a long-term solution for folks, but it definitely helps in the interim if somebody finds themselves in a difficult spot needing food, Johnson said.

For those who have concerns about the openness and availability of the food in the pantries being taken advantage of, Leeper offers a response.

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Salvation Army Food Pantry

The Salvation Army is dedicated to eliminating food insecurity.

The Salvation Army operates free local food banks around Fort Smith, Arkansas from almost all of their local social service centers. The charity organization is involved in feeding millions of families each year, with a large percentage of those assisted being children as well as the elderly.

We have located 1 Salvation Army Food Pantry locations in Fort Smith, Arkansas which provides a wide array of services. We have partnered so you can also check your eligibility.

How Do Drive

Arkansas Foodbank is United Against Hunger

There are lot of volunteers help at Drive-thru food pantries. While not all drive-thru pantries operate in the same way, here�s how most work:

Staff and volunteers direct visitors to the parking area.

Visitors pull up to the pantry in their car and are usually guided into a clearly marked queue. As people move through the pantry, staff will continue to move the cars forward to get everyone through as quickly and safely as possible.


You are required to fill some information for Pantry’s recording keeping.

Food is loaded into the cars.

Pre-packed bags of food, usually full of shelf-stable items like pasta, canned fruit and peanut butter, as well as fresh produce and meats are loaded by volunteers into the trunk of the car.

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