by Samaritan Community Center Rogers, Arkansas, United States Food
Can you imagine being a child and wondering if you will have any food to eat this weekend? Snackpacks for Kids insures that children at-risk for hu...
Samaritan Community Center is a grace-driven organization that serves the hurting and hungry of Northwest Arkansas through a compassionate community of staff and volunteers. Established in 1989 as a food pantry outreach of a local church, the SCC became an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2002 and has since grown into a multi-faceted organization serving over 125,000 people in crisis each year.
Every day in Northwest Arkansas, nearly 100,000 people are going hungry. Despite being among the counties in Arkansas with the highest per capita income, one out of every four Northwest Arkansas children face the physical, emotional and behavioral challenges related to hunger and food insecurity.
Using a relational approach to operations, we encourage clients to access multiple services to meet immediate physical needs (food, clothing, dental care) and to work with our licensed social workers and counselors to make positive change towards financial independence and healthier lives. We believe these multiple contacts lead to relationships with our clients which allow for trust and accountability.
It is estimated that 32,000 children living in Northwest Arkansas are facing the physical, emotional, behavioral and academic challenges related to hunger and food insecurity on a daily basis. For many of these children, weekends and school breaks are a dreaded time away from the school cafeteria, their only reliable source of nutrition. SnackPacks for Kids, operated by the Samaritan Community Center in partnership with 146 Northwest Arkansas schools (elementary through high school) and early childhood sites, focuses on providing weekly nutritional support to 8400 children identified as being at highest risk for hunger or food insecurity on the weekends and school breaks. Additionally, the Backpacks for Kids program provides 3500 children with a new backpack filled with age appropriate school supplies prior to the beginning of the school year.
Each one of us requires more than basic staple foods, which are often laden with salt, sugar and fat, for a balanced and nutritious diet. Recent studies illustrate the link between food insecurity and obesity. For our neighbors facing food insecurity, we stand in the gap by eliminating the need to trade one necessity for another: nutritious food for rent, utilities, transportation and healthcare. The Samaritan Garden harvests fresh, organic produce which is distributed to clients shopping in our Samaritan Market (food pantries) and through meals served at the Samaritan Cafes.