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Arkadelphia food pantries gear up for Thanksgiving meals

By JOEL PHELPS | The Arkadelphian

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, local organizations this week are preparing to feed nearly 1,000 residents.

Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 15, those in need of food may participate in one of two large distribution events. From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., the Arkadelphia Community Enrichment Center will hold a drive-through event. Volunteers have packed enough food boxes to feed 600 people for the week of Thanksgiving.

Volunteer Shahnaz Ali packs canned goods into boxes of food that will be distributed Tuesday at the Arkadelphia Community Family Enrichment Center, feeding upwards to 600 people for the week of Thanksgiving. | Joel Phelps/The Arkadelphian

The boxes, overflowing with food items, will include “everything you need to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner and more,” said Pat Wright, executive director of the enrichment center. The boxes contain chicken, produce, canned vegetables, soup, milk, cereal, rice and beans.

In fact, Wright said, the boxes contain enough food to last the entire week of the holiday — not just Thanksgiving Day. This is important because school will be out next week for the holiday, and families depend on the school district to provide meals.

Those who participate in the enrichment center event should enter 23rd Street from Twin Rivers Drive (by the Arkadelphia Recreation Center) and remain in their vehicle while volunteers load the food boxes.

Donna Rhodius volunteers Monday morning, sorting food into boxes in preparation for the distribution event. | Joel Phelps/The Arkadelphian

Across town the Clark County Ecumenical Food Pantry will be handing out food boxes at Arkadelphia First United Methodist Church, on 9th Street. Volunteers with that group also began packing boxes of food early in preparation for the upcoming week of Thanksgiving. They will be able to feed up to 360 people.

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The Clark County Ecumenical Food Pantry is expanding its typical drive-through hours this Tuesday, beginning at 1:30 p.m. and staying until 6 p.m.

Head volunteer Cindy Jackson said each box will contain 10 pounds of chicken, as well as cream of mushroom soup, green beans, cranberry sauce, corn, milk and other items.

The goal with both events is to treat every Clark County resident to meals during the holiday season. “We want to ensure everyone gets food and that no one is turned away,” Wright said. 

The Community Family Enrichment Center, which has been in operation since 1997, celebrated its 25th anniversary in July. The enrichment center accepts donations. Monetary donations can be mailed to the Arkadelphia Community Family Enrichment Center, P.O. Box 582, Arkadelphia, AR 71923, and both food and monetary donations may be dropped off at 301 N. 23rd St.

1 reply »

  1. I Will Be in Arkadelphia tomorrow afternoon. Do you need help with filling boxes, or donations of food? Would Love to help serve meals on Thanksgiving, if needed. I used to live there years ago. Am now in Heber Springs, but plan to spend Thanksgiving in Arkadelphia.

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