FORT SMITH, Arkansas — Antioch For Youth and Family is hosting the last 2020 Antioch Pop-UP in the Park event on Wednesday, Dec. 23 to give struggling families in the Fort Smith area some much-needed relief and a decent holiday.
With Covid-19, Congress approved USDA funds for the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program, commonly known as Covid Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) partnered with national, regional and local distributors to purchase up to $4.5 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products from American producers of all sizes, which is packaged into family-sized boxes by distributors and transported to food banks, community and faith-based organizations and other non-profits serving Americans in need.
Antioch For Youth and Family has been distributing this food at Antioch Pop-UP in the Park events on Wednesdays at Martin Luther King Park in Fort Smith, and the last 2020 CFAP distribution event for this area will be held on Dec. 23 at 9:00 a.m., where more than 700 families will be helped.
Antioch will be offering struggling families, seniors and disabled persons both a breakfast product and a dinner product on top of the foods provided by the USDA.
Tyson Foods is providing 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken for the event, and Benton County Foods is providing 20,000 eggs.
At least 500 cars are expected to come through the three-mile distribution line.
Aerial photo of Antioch Pop-UP in the Park:
Charolette Tidwell, founder of Antioch for Youth and Family, said, "We're just excited to be the conduit that feeds the community."
Organizers say we should all keep giving back while the pandemic still leaves unemployment levels at an all-time high.
When the pandemic began, families like Ursula Motes began to struggle. Mote said the CFAP food boxes have really helped them over the last few months, and she is forever grateful.
“It means if I have to go to the store for something I don’t have to worry about not having enough because they’ve provided the essentials,” said Mote.
Antioch Food Pantry, an all-volunteer nonprofit effort, provides over 800,000 meals in a community where one-in-five people are food insecure.
WATCH: Antioch Holds Pop-Up Food Drive Event in Fort Smith