People

Newspaper stand gets new life as food pantry project

By KELLY STILES | The Arkadelphian

At 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, community members gathered to witness the ribbon cutting for the MLK Food Pantry outside of Peake Rosenwald School.

Starr Crow, AmeriCorps program officer and civic engagement manager for the Arkansas Department of Education, approached Clark County District 2 Justice of the Peace Michael Ankton about a food pantry project using a repurposed newspaper stand from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. These food pantries have been popping up all across Arkansas as the online news source has phased out printed newspapers.

AmeriCorps members and Henderson State University students Derrion Beard, Sierra Haynes, Mikayla Middleton, and Samantha Gulley lead the project as a part of the Engage Arkansas initiative to strengthen communities and combat social inequalities. In addition to Crow and Ankton, they partnered with Arkadelphia Public Schools and Dawson Education Service Cooperative to decide on an ideal location for the food pantry, and a plan to keep it stocked.

Beard lead the ceremony as Middleton cut the ribbon held by Haynes and Gulley. As a part of their goal to help prepare preschool children for kindergarten, the team engaged Peake Rosenwald students in helping them paint the old newspaper stand.

Unexpired and nonperishable food and toiletry items can be dropped off during business hours at the Peake Rosenwald Early Childhood Center office at 1604 Caddo St., Arkadelphia.

Categories: People

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