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'Fill the Fridge' event provides food for students living on UAFS campus

UAFS students living on campus will be able to receive free food throughout this school year.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — University of Arkansas - Fort Smith (UAFS) students living on campus will now have help keeping the fridge full this year. 

The Dave Stevens Lion Pride Pantry, the LionHeart student organization, and Antioch for Youth & Family have partnered to make this possible. 

Students living in the Sebastian Commons will receive deliveries of perishable and nonperishable food beginning Aug. 19.

“Antioch has been interested in partnering with UAFS for a long time,” said Kara Crowley, Coordinator for Student Activities and Civic Engagement. “So when we reached out to their founder, Charolette Tidwell, with the idea to ‘Fill the Fridge’ for all on-campus apartments, she immediately supported the idea.”

Antioch is a  nonprofit organization run by volunteers. Antioch serves people in need with fresh produce, nonperishable food, and other necessities. Tidwell is a UAFS alumna of the class of 1974.

“The goal is to build momentum with food pantry knowledge and utilization, improve diets with nutritious food, and build community effort on the college campus,” Tidwell explained.

The perishable foods will include milk, eggs, meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, and bread. Nonperishable, pantry-stable foods like peanut butter, pasta and pasta sauce, canned soup, oatmeal, and canned fruit also will be delivered.

“’Fill the Fridge’ will be reoccurring monthly in the Sebastian Commons,” Crowley said. Through this event, we hope to draw attention to the resources we have in the community and on campus for students, no matter if they live on campus or not. ‘Fill the Fridge’ is a launching point for students to visit our own food pantry, knowing that it is a resource for all UAFS students.” Crowley said.

Antioch will deliver about 200 boxes and bags to campus on Aug. 19. Each apartment will receive 60-70 pounds of food to start the semester with groceries in the pantry and fridge. After that, on the first Tuesday of each month, Antioch will deliver 75 boxes of food for distribution.

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