South Arkansas Community College gifts Thanksgiving food packages to students in need

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — College students are in need of more than just a winter break during time of year and South Arkansas Community College is doing what they can to meet the needs of its students.

When times are hard, students at South Ark don’t have to go far to get what they need. The community college is spending this week distributing bags of food to its students.

The college received a $50,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation. Faculty chose to use the money to buy food for the students.

“This year has been really hard on so many people throughout the area, the pandemic and the economic down turn. We’re happy to just be able to provide something special for students in need,” Director of South Ark’s Food Pantry, Dr. Ken Bridges said.

Even in non-Covid times, finding and evening affording a good meal for college students particularly those attending community colleges is a struggle.

“An upwards of 50 percent of students at community colleges experience food insecurity,” South Ark President, Dr. Bentley Wallace said.

Packed in the bags are just some of the essentials to get these students through the holidays as most of those enrolled have more than just homework to tend to when they get home.

“Students here aren’t just the average 18-year-old that’s leaving home for the first time. Most of our students are working. They have families themselves. They have kids,” Dr. Bridges said.

“It’s hard to concentrate on your studies when you’re scrambling just to find money to keep a roof over your head or to find a meal for your kids.”

Approximately 130 students participated in this food giveaway program. There weren’t any requirements. Students just had to sign up.

One student we talked to says they’re not working right now and this help from South Ark is just a small way to making a great meal for Thanksgiving.

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