Marshallese food pantry opens in Springdale


SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — There’s a new resource for Marshallese families in need of a meal.

Today was the grand opening of the Enrã Food Pantry in Springdale.

The Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese says Enrã translates to “dish” in English so the new pantry will be a dish for the community.

While the coalition’s founder acknowledges her community has been hit hard by the pandemic, she says there were other social determinants prior to COVID-19.

“What you’re seeing right here right now is really it’s telling a story of a resilient community. We’re here, we’re taking action and we’re addressing the needs of the community,” said Melisa Laelan, founder of Arkansas Coalition Of Marshallese.

“We have so many deaths and so many people that have been effected by the pandemic so it’s like a little celebration in the midst of all this. It’s a feel good story. Something we can all be proud of,” said Eldon Alik, Consulate General of The Marshall Islands In Springdale.

The pantry will be stocked with foods the Marshallese community typically likes to eat and will be staffed with people who speak in their native language.

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