ROGERS, Arkansas — The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank plans to open FEED ROGERS, a full service, client choice food pantry.
FEED ROGERS will offer food insecure individuals a normal shopping experience, allowing them to choose food for their family with dignity.
“When we allow our neighbors to choose their own food, we're giving them the power to write their own story. We're encouraging a dignified experience where neighbors feel respected by staff and volunteers, and hopefully breaking down the barrier of giver and receiver,” said Sabrina Thiede, director of programs for the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank.
The pantry will open at 212 South 13th in late 2021 or early 2022 after renovations are complete and will be open extended days and hours to accommodate those who are working but still need help putting food on the table, with plans to eventually operate five days per week.
The location was chosen due to its proximity to the Center for Non-profits and the Community Clinic, both existing partners of the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank who offer services to enhance the lives of those who will use the pantry.
“The main idea behind Feed Rogers is to change the food pantry model from transitional to transformational," Thiede said. "People who are living in poverty and that are food insecure often feel isolated and full of stress and anxiety. By working with other community partners, we can work closely with our neighbors to create a safe environment where help and healing coexist and our neighbors are on a path to self-empowerment."
The pantry will open with a combination of paid staff and volunteers.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society of the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church is a founding partner and will provide many volunteers, however volunteering is open to anyone interested.