NAUW members donate grocery bags to food pantry

The Pine Bluff Branch of the National Association of University Women recently recognized the need to bring relief to hungry Arkansas residents in dire need of assistance.

Members took action by donating several hundred grocery bags to the Centers for Youth & Families Eudora office food pantry. The bags will be filled with fresh and packaged food for clients to prepare meals for themselves and their families.

The mission of NAUW is to serve women, youth and the disadvantaged in (U.S.) communities and in developing countries by addressing educational issues, advancing the status of women’s issues, and strategically partnering with allied organizations. Part of the organization’s nine-point purpose is to collaborate with other organizations and agencies that are concerned with community and world problems.

The record numbers of children and seniors facing a hunger crisis in the Delta region compelled the Pine Bluff branch members to offer their support to the center’s food pantry.

“The NAUW-Pine Bluff branch’s generosity is very much appreciated,” said Lisa Stewart, program director for the Eudora office.

The food pantry supplies families in need with basic food staples — canned fruits and vegetables, rice, pasta, oatmeal, cereal, rice — juice, snacks, granola bars, and water, as well as some non-food items like fabric softener, washing powder and deodorant. Distributions are made once a month in each of the three counties served.

“We make food available to families in crisis, students participating in our Choosing the Best abstinence education program, and senior citizens in our community,” Stewart said, “and we recently participated in two community food distributions hosted by the Arkansas Food Bank, one of which was held at our building. Food was distributed to the first 275 people at the first event. Over 500 families received watermelons at the second distribution,” she added.

The Centers for Youth & Families provides specialized prevention, intervention and treatment services that promote emotional and social wellness for children and families of Arkansas. The mission is fulfilled through prevention services, residential care facilities, youth emergency shelter, therapeutic foster care, school-based and outpatient counseling and day treatment programs.

The Eudora office primarily serves families in Chicot, Desha and Lincoln counties, who are enrolled in the home visiting program. The majority of their clients are young moms ages 14 to 25. Donations and volunteer services are always welcomed. For more information, contact Stewart at 870-355-8200.