Keeping up tradition: Feeding families in need for Christmas


BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A decades-long tradition kicked off Christmas Eve morning in Bentonville, with the goal of fewer hungry families this holiday in mind.

The Kiwanis Club of Bentonville hosted its 64th food giveaway to help local families in need.

“It’s amazing when you have prosperity, you’re going to have some people left behind,” said club president, Bobby Smittle. “So even in this area where everyone is doing well, there are some people that are not.”

Volunteers of all ages came together to distribute holiday favorites, including chicken, green beans, and desserts.

“It’s Christmas Eve. People are supposed to be happy,” said volunteer, Devin Muench. “And if people aren’t happy then that’s not good. So we’re making people happy and that in turn releases dopamine for us, making us happy.”

Smittle said there are dozens of regulars that come every year and there are others who have simply fallen on hard times.

“This year we had those tornados come through the area and a lot of people had some damage,” Smittle said.

“I got food for 14 people,” said Natoshia Wright who came through the line for the first time in several years. “It’s very helpful. Especially with low-income families. It’s nice that they do that.”

“It’s such a blessing to hear sometimes,” Smittle said. “They’re always so appreciative. It’s wonderful to have the same spirit with the people that are in need, and just make sure everyone is happy on Christmas.”

The line opened around 8:00 a.m. and Smittle said all 500 boxes of food were gone by 11:00 a.m.

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