Where Arkansas parents can find summer meals for the kids

“Be Mighty Little Rock”, a local organization is working to provide free meals to children across the state throughout the summer.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark – It’s a tradition for Shyann Simmons before every big trip. She packs snacks and sandwiches for her kids, like hot dogs that cook on the stove.

Her fridge is stocked with groceries she’s been grateful for since moving to Arkansas a month ago.

“I am a mother of four children. I have already struggled on several occasions to ask myself were we will have enough food to last the whole month,” Simmons said.

That one month of worry easily turns into three over the summer months when you have an 11-year-old, 7-year-old, 3-year-old, and 1-year-old who is out of school or daycare for the ‘summer.

She said a lot of the food they had came from pantries.

These are past programs and organizations that helped her when her family was in need out of state.

“So the programs that help provide meals for kids, especially during the summer or even on school days – free and reduced meals – all of that has been a big help for my family,” said Simons.

With inflation and supply shortages affecting all aspects of life, a number of children still need to be fed. This is something that organizations like Be Mighty Little Rock are noticing.

“It’s really important, especially now more than ever with the cost of inflation, with the issue of food supply. I think it’s really important to provide our community members with really reliable safe spaces “, said Jasmine Zandi, coordinator at Be Puissant petitroche.

The program aims to act as a city-wide campaign that provides young children and teens with free meals. Be Mighty Little Rock is brought together by the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) and strives to distribute meals from 11 of their local libraries throughout the summer.

It’s a group effort to get the food, as Zandi said they get their meals through sponsors who struggle to outsource and pay for the meals.

“It’s been difficult on our end, we have this staff shortage [which] This is what we experience so we don’t always have staff available to stay on site while people are consuming meals. This means our distribution times are a bit shorter than usual,” said Zandi.

As for the places for meals, you can find the local libraries, as well as the respective opening hours here:

Monday to Saturday from June 1, 2022 to August 20, 2022. Children must be present and meals must be eaten on site:

  • Children’s Library and Learning Center located at 4800 W. 10th St., Little Rock | Breakfast: 9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. & Lunch: 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Dee Brown Library located at 6325 Baseline Dr., Little Rock | Lunch: 12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Fletcher Library located at 823 N. Buchanan St., Little Rock | Lunch: 11:15-11:45 a.m.
  • Main Library located at 100 Rock St., Little Rock | Breakfast: 9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. & Lunch: 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Maumelle Library is located at 10 Lake Point Drive, Maumelle | Breakfast: 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. & Lunch: 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • McMath Library located at 2100 John Barrow Rd., Little Rock | Lunch: 12:15-12:45 p.m.
  • Nixon Library located at 703 West Main St., Jacksonville | Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Rooker Library located at 11 Otter Creek Ct., Little Rock | Lunch: 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Sanders Library located at 10200 Johnson Dr., Sherwood | Lunch: 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Terry Library located at 2015 Napa Valley Dr., Little Rock | Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Williams Library located at 1800 Chester Street, Little Rock | Breakfast: 9h00-10h00 & Lunch: 13h00-14h00

To search for locations in Arkansas, you can enter your zip code, county, or city here.

They are also asking for summer volunteers, which you can sign up for here if you are interested.

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