ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Every week a group of dedicated volunteers gets together to make sure kids in our area don’t go hungry.
It’s a well-oiled assembly line here at Samaritan Community Center.
“This afternoon, they’re doing what is called snack packs,” Snack Packs for Kids program coordinator Bryan Armlovich said.
It needs to be efficient. Volunteers like D.D. Dunagin are packing up food for thousands of kids.
“In Northwest Arkansas, which is one of the most vibrant economies in the nation, we still have food insecurity in a lot of these areas. Not just out in the rural area but here in Rogers, Fayetteville. So that’s just like oh my gosh, wow,” Dunagin said.
The Samaritan Community Center’s Snack Packs for Kids program feeds 5,000-6,000 kids every weekend when they cannot get food at school.
“We want to make sure that kiddos, whenever they’re arriving on Monday, the first thing they’re thinking about is learning. It shouldn’t be, “I need to get in and get the food,”” Armlovich said.
Teachers can tell a difference when a kid is worried about his or her next meal.
“They finally got to the bottom of it, that he was really concerned that he wasn’t going to have his snack pack sent home with him that Friday for him to be able to have over the weekends,” Armlovich said as he shared a story from one of the schools.
These bags of food go to kids in more than 170 schools throughout the area.
“When you look at the package at first, I thought this isn’t much. But somebody said, to a hungry kid, this is everything,” Dunagin said.
The recent rise in food costs has brought more families to the Samaritan Community Center. But it also makes it more expensive to operate the program. Each pack costs $3. If you want to pitch in by donating or volunteering, click here.