FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Brigham Young University hosted a tailgate Saturday at Wilson Park in Fayetteville from 3-5 p.m. where fans donated food. 

Heidi Simpson is an alumna of BYU and went to tailgate with her husband before the BYU-Arkansas football game. 

She says it’s important to donate.

“Everyone has hard times at some point, and if you want to have unity in our country, we have to recognize that everyone needs help. No matter who you are. What you are helping is basically what our country is based on.  Like we are unified despite anything else going on. People need help,” Simpson said. 

BYU partnered with Fayetteville’s St. James Missionary Baptist Church to serve the local community. 

Blaine Douglas is the president of the Northwest Arkansas BYU Alumni Association.

He says they’re proud to be able to do this. 

“This is simply an extension of our desire to serve like the people of a community, to serve the Lord, and so that’s the whole purpose of this- is to give back to the community and help people that need it,” Douglas said. 

Alexa Anderson, BYU’s alumni marketing manager, says they have a donation drive at every tailgate that’s an away game.

“One of the things that we teach our students and alumni is to go forth and serve. And so, when you go to BYU, you enter to learn, but you go forth and serve. And that means a lifelong attitude of service,” she said. 

Fans were asked to donate culturally appropriate and preferred foods for the Marshallese and Hispanic communities. 

Monique Jones, director of Outreach and Community Engagement at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, says BYU brought a truck from Utah with 24 pallets of canned and dry goods.

“It feels great to know that people coming from another state care about everybody across the nation.”

She also said it was a blessing to have BYU showing love to the community. 

Jones said she heard the university received love from people in Arkansas as well. 

The food pantry at the Church is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. -1 p.m.

They also have a Doordash delivery option and a food locker where clients can order the food they choose.