With the economy in a down-hill slide, many families in the tri-county area are seeking help to keep food on the table.
Food banks locally and across the state and the nation are reporting an increase in the number of requests for help with basic food items. The result is a dwindling supply of food on pantry shelves.
Beginning this week and continuing until Dec. 20, residents can help stock the shelves of local food pantries with a donation to a specific organization. North Sharp County Ministerial Alliance, Mission of Hope, Ash Flat Church of Christ and Salem Church of Christ Food Pantry are local hunger relief organizations that will profit from this project.
For every $2 donated to any of the above nonprofit organizations through the Internet at www.arcf.org, Arkansas Community Foundation (ARCF) will donate $1 up to a total of $100,000.
The project is statewide and includes about 150 nonprofit organizations who could benefit from the donation drive.
"Nonprofits that provide food to hungry are experiencing record demand this season because of our economic downturn," said Martin Carpenter, chairman, Sharp County Community Foundation, a local affiliate office of ARCF. "If you want to help people in our community who are hungry obtain food for themselves and their families, please visit arcf.org before Dec. 20 and make a donation."
Those wishing to make a donation will need to log on to the Internet and go to www.arcf.org. A tax deductible donation can be made with a credit or debit card to the non-profit organization they select from a list provided. Donations beginning at $25 up to $2,000 will be accepted for this program.
In mid-November, the ARCF Board of Directors authorized a grant from its Giving Tree Endowment to create a Community Giving Stimulus Fund. Other selected donors have also contributed to the temporary fund which will be used to match gifts to hunger charities up to $100,000.
Those wishing to take part in this special giving program are encouraged to do so early as organizers predict the $100,000 matching funds will be depleted fast.
Other local organizations on the list include Food Bank of North Central Arkansas, Mountain Home Food Basket, Food Pantry of Mountain Home and the Salvation Army Food Pantry.