Hundreds get free Christmas meal in Bentonville

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Kiwanis Club of Bentonville and Bella Vista handed out 400 food boxes at its annual Guy Wilkerson Food Box Giveaway on Friday.

The event has been happening for more than 60 years. The first event helped 12 families in need and now that number has grown to 400.

Bobby Smittle, president of Kiwanis Club of Bentonville and Bella Vista, said it’s all about giving back to the community.

“Its so important every year to take care of people but its especially important these last several years with corona and the economy and trying to help these people out,” Smittle said.

Smittle said he is proud to be apart of the community event.

“Its a great feeling to know your’e helping families who need that kind of help,” Smittle said.

The Samaritan Community is a nonprofit dedicated to feeding Northwest Arkansas. Shaylan Dillon with the center said she has seen more people needing its services over the years.

 “We’ve seen an increase people that we serve because there’s been an increase in population so its important to stay ahead and make sure these people do have access to food,” Dillon said.

Samaritan Community Center offers weekly lunches and monthly groceries for people who need it. You can learn more about its resources here.

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