Community conversation about American Rescue Plan funds for local Hispanic community

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SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/FOX24) — People gathered on Sunday to talk about where they would like to see American Rescue Plan funds go to help the local Hispanic community.

This is part of the Arkansas Criminal Justice Coalition’s Community Cookout series to engage people on how they would like to see ARP funds be used.

Samuel Rivera Lopez of Springdale says the Hispanic Community is still dealing with the impacts of the pandemic.

“Springdale is the poultry capitol of the world and we had to still keep the poultry lines open so a lot of people passed away from COVID or were affected by COVID,” he said. “So a lot of families have kids that either lost a parent, had a parent sick, they lost money, more than money, they they lost that connection.”

He would like to see ARP funds go towards public transit, helping essential workers with child care, internet access for families and better street lighting in the community.

There are concerns about where ARP funds are going in Washington County. In August, the county’s Quorum Court approved $250,000 to go to the Washington County Jail for engineering and architecture fees as the jail looks to expand.

Also at Saturday’s event, people had the chance to register to vote and get connected with rental assistance resources.

Money was also being raised for a local family who has a member fighting cancer. Tatiana Pelayo helped organize the fundraiser, and said she hopes this serves as an example of kindness in the community.

“If we can do it, everybody can do it,” she said. “If you see a family or someone in need please help them out. Our community needs a lot of help right now. No matter where someone is from, help them out.”

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