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FSPD partners with Antioch Community Pantry for food giveaway

The busy drive-thru site at Martin Luther King Jr. Park had officers and volunteers working fast to fill each car with food.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — The Fort Smith Police Department partnered with Antioch for Youth and Family to give away $48,000 worth of free food.

The busy drive-thru site at Martin Luther King Jr. Park had officers and volunteers working fast to fill each car with food.

"We'll be at these events until we get it done or drop out and bring some more people in," said Lt. Scott Jackson with FSPD.

Fort Smith Police say connecting with the community is a must while protests against police brutality continue across the nation.

"We're engaged, the chief, the city administration, we're about community and serving the community, try and be a leader in our region and nationally for police," Jackson said.

Fort Smith Police gave away 40 pounds of food per vehicle and organizers say they are not in the business of giving away unhealthy meals.

Many of the groceries given out were dairy products, so to keep them fresh, volunteers had to move fast. 

"Boxes of milk, cheese, yogurt, all the goodies, and real butter," said Charlotte Tidwell, Executive Director of Antioch for Youth and Family.

The Antioch Community Pantry started off with over 10,000 pounds of food to give away and it only took officers and volunteers two and a half hours to distribute it to community members.

"It was really fun working with the officers, we were listening to music while we worked, telling a lot of jokes," said volunteer Micah Fox.

Organizers say we should all keep giving back while the pandemic still leaves unemployment levels at an all-time high.

"We're just excited to be the conduit that feeds the community," Tidwell said.

Fort Smith Police and the Antioch Community Pantry are planning more large drive-thru donation events for the upcoming weeks.

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