Food banks continue to serve community during pandemic
By Samantha Jones and Haley Schichtl
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly presented challenges for local nonprofits, but food banks in Eureka Springs are determined to keep feeding the hungry.
Flint Street Fellowship reopened on Monday, April 20, after being temporarily closed at the beginning of April. The hours are still 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Wednesday. If you are not registered at the food pantry already, you must call to register over the phone.
“Since we reopened, things are good,” said executive director Karen Timm. “It’s kind of been a little bit slow but I think that people are nervous about leaving their homes.”
Timm said Flint Street serves people in Eureka Springs and holiday Island, saying the food bank has resources available for pets, too. Good Shepherd Humane Society recently donated dog and cat food to Flint Street, Timm said, to keep everyone in the family fed during the pandemic.
“A lot of our folks have animals and so we try to have food for the animals as well,” Timm said, “because they’re all in this craziness with us. We were really blessed to have that donation. All our furry friends are getting fed, too.”
Timm lives in Holiday Island with her husband Jeff Timm, the pastor at Holiday Island Community Church. She is the secretary at the church and was named executive director of Flint Street Fellowship in March after volunteering there for a while.
“When they first approached me, I said, ‘Oh, I don’t know. I’m not too sure,’ ” Timm said. “Then they approached me again in February. My heart just said, ‘Go for it.’ I did some praying about it and the good Lord said, ‘Yep, this is what you should do.’ ”
The food bank is looking for a volunteer to stock shelves, freezers and refrigerators a few hours a week on Monday and Wednesday morning. When product delivery comes into the food pantry, this person would unload and stock shelves and log the temperature of all refrigerators and freezers. The volunteer would need to stand, walk, bend, lift up to 30 pounds, break down cardboard and remove trash.
If you’re interested in volunteering, send a message to Flint Street at www.Facebook.com/FlintStreetFoodPantry.
Flint Street is also offering the Pat Kasner Angel Assistance Fund to help with transportation, utilities, rent and other needs. Those seeking assistance must schedule an in-person interview. Interviews take place on the third Thursday of the month. For more information, call 479-253-9491.
A Cup of Love Ministry continues to offer curbside pick-up, said director Pattie Jarrett.
“We’re giving food out the front door still. Dry goods, canned goods, bread, produce, juice and stuff like that,” Jarrett said.
A Cup of Love is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Jarrett said people still have to call before coming at 479-363-4529.
“We write down their name, how many people they have in their family and we fix them up a shopping cart full of food and stick it out by the front door with their name on it,” Jarrett said.
She said the kitchen is closed not just for health restrictions, but for remodeling the serving area. She said it will probably be ready by mid-June or early July.
“We’re hoping to [reopen] then. It kind of depends on what the governor says,” Jarrett said. “If we can’t do it then, we’re planning on doing something outdoors. Before we started in the building, we served on the streets for four years. So we may do that for a while.”
The Loaves and Fishes food bank in Berryville is still operating under normal hours and doing curbside pickup only, but has added a drive-through window for people to show their IDs. The food will be boxed up and put on a table at the back door.
The food bank is open from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday.