An estimated 62,000 people in the River Valley don’t have enough food or money to eat Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones this year, according to statistics from the River Valley Regional Food Bank.
“Every year there’s a knock at the door and there’s a family that says ‘I don’t know what I was going to do for Thanksgiving,'” said Ken Kupchick with the food bank.
The food bank is now working to make sure that all of the families in need can sit down and enjoy a family dinner on Thanksgiving by hosting a variety of food drives in the Fort Smith area. The food bank collected both food and monetary donations Saturday (Nov. 23) at their Hometown Holiday Food Drive at Ashley Furniture on Rogers.
“You know it’s about memories more than anything else,” Kupchick said. “The types of things that you want to instill in your children going forward like traditions and family values and so it’s all about that. These families that we help really want to give that to their children, they just don’t have the financial means they need to do it.”
“It’s very important,” said Steve Knoll, with KMAG, who teamed up with the Food Bank to collect donations. “I mean everybody’s split all different ways all year and the holiday time is the time to get together. And I think it’s important to have a nice meal on the table so everyone can eat together which a lot of families don’t do anymore.”
Organizers said their goal for Saturday was to collect $2,000 and 2,000 pounds of food.
“If we meet our goal, that means we can feed 20,000 of those people this holiday,” Kupchick said.
If you’re interested in donating, Saturday’s food drive will be going on until 6 p.m.
Those who can’t make it out to the food drive can donate food or money at the River Valley Regional Food Bank on North 32nd Street through Wednesday to help feed a family in need this holiday.