Ideas presented to organize an additional food bank for Arkadelphia.
A meeting to organize an additional food bank in Arkadelphia was held Wednesday. According to Cindy Jackson, there are multiple churches with food pantries in the community. “What we were thinking is if we all got together, we could provide a very good and valuable shopping experience to the persons who are food insecure in our Clark County area,” said Jackson. As of right now, Jackson said it is not clear if the food bank will serve the entire county. “We have not defined our mission [and] we have not defined our outreach,” Jackson said. The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting consisted of finding commitments to the project, discussion of becoming a separate entity, and the establishment of subcommittees. “If we get commitments, we also need to look at a deadline to get this started,” said Jackson. Most of the representatives from area food pantries said they support the idea of a combined food pantry, but would still prefer to operate their own individual food pantry. It was also noted that several local organizations provide more than food to people who are in need. Local food pantries: • The Community Family Enrichment Center holds its food pantry each Wednesday from 7 until 9 a.m. and each Thursday from 12:30 to 2 p.m. • Gennesaret Missionary Baptist Church, located at 1751 Logan St., has its food pantry twice a month. Although the pantry only operates during designated times of the month, Pastor Fredrick Smith said anyone can receive food anytime he is in the church office. • St. Paul A.M.E. Church, located at 1501 Caddo St., operates its food pantry twice a month. • The food pantry of First United Methodist Church, located at 107 N. 9th St., is open twice a week. • First Baptist Church, 623 Pine St., operates its food pantry five days a week. Churches that are not able to make suitable accommodations usually refer people to Lighthouse Ministries. Another meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, Jan.30, at noon at the Clark County Charitable Health Clinic, located across from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.