Doing Good: Samaritan Community Center overcomes COVID-19 changes to feed thousands of children

Doing Good

The Samaritan Community Center has reorganized its Snack Pack program to still meet the needs of just as many children.

Rogers, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Samaritan Community Center normally has large groups of people pack up the snack packs and then more people deliver them straight to the school. Now, that has all changed.

Carol Stacy volunteers every week at the Samaritan Community Center.

“To think that there are people in our community, children especially, that don’t have access to food on weekends and that there’s a way we can help, I go, we gotta do this,” she said.

She is part of a smaller, socially distanced group putting together snack packs for food insecure kids.

“We’re a local non-profit organization that helps feed the hungry and hurting of Northwest Arkansas,” Samaritan Community Center’s Snack Pack Coordinator Bryan Armlovich said.

Those packs end up with students in 160 schools across the area.

“We were able to have really large packing crews, 50-60 people coming in and packing thousands of snack packs in a single night. With COVID, we had to get really creative,” Armlovich said.

Now smaller groups are packing the meals, and delivery has changed too. The packs are no longer taken directly to the schools.

“We have shifted that to what we call snack pack hubs, so rather than just sending those out through volunteers, we are now dropping our snack packs off in centralized locations,” Armlovich said.

Even with those changes, Samaritan Community Center is still serving just as many kids.

“It’s always good to give and you can give in different ways. Volunteering is a way we can all give,” Volunteer Hew Thomas said.

And their giving is helping feed 6,000 kids every weekend.

If you want to help Samaritan Community Center, click here.

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