ARKANSAS, USA — Governor Asa Hutchinson ordered all public schools in Arkansas to close Tuesday (March 17) due to the coronavirus outbreak sweeping across the nation.
Many kids, ages K-12 depend on the two meals a day provided by their local schools.
“Kids who are in a poverty situation, the most nutritious food they get is at school,” said Rick Schaffer with Springdale Schools.
All schools say they’re prepared to provide meals to their students for as long as they are out of school.
The following are schools that are providing meals to students during closings.
Farmington Public Schools say if children are needing meals, you must fill out the form on their Facebook page or call 479-266-1814 by 6 p.m. Monday (March 16). Meals will be delivered between 9-10:30 a.m. Tuesday (March 17).
Fayetteville Public Schools are providing multiple locations, including a food truck.
This list will be updated with the latest information.
The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank is working with area schools to provide pantry staples to help augment meal preparation services. The Food Bank is sending boxes of non-perishable staples such as canned vegetables, pasta sauces, canned protein, soups, and pasta noodles. These items are provided at no charge to the schools and their families. Volunteer support is needed to assemble the products into boxes. For more information on Northwest Arkansas Food Bank’s efforts, as well as resources available to families in need, please visit www.nwafoodbank.org.
The Food Bank is placing orders for multiple truckloads of food to stock up in this time of need. To fund these purchases, the public is encouraged to make a financial gift to the Food Bank’s COVID-19 NWA Response Fund.
Donations can be made online through the COVID19 NWA Response Fund giving page. 100% of funds will remain local and be used to cover costs associated with local COVID-19 response efforts.
There is an immediate need for volunteers to staff response efforts. Anyone who has not traveled outside of the United States or to an impacted area in the last 14 days, nor is experiencing symptoms of illness, is encouraged to sign up to join the Food Bank’s response efforts.
Volunteers interested in helping out should sign up through the volunteer portal. Volunteer shifts and tasks are visible to all registered volunteers. Emails will be sent out to everyone registered through their volunteer portal as additional volunteer needs arise.
To prevent the spread of the virus, the Food Bank asks that only pre-registered volunteers who have completed the COVID-19 waiver show up to volunteer.