Hundreds of River Valley Families to Receive Free Holiday Dinner

Posted on: 12:34 pm, December 19, 2013, by , updated on: 03:19pm, December 19, 2013

Clearinghouse

A local organization is providing 200 families in the River Valley with a holiday dinner.

The Degen Foundation – which aims to help the under served through healthcare assistance – donated $5,000 to the Community Services Clearinghouse in Fort Smith to provide families with a holiday meal.

Tom Webb with the foundation said providing healthy meals to local families is in line with their mission.

“This is who we are,” said Webb. “We are designed to help those that need help.”

In addition to the money donated by the Degen Foundation, the Clearinghouse also collected food from local schools which will be included in the donated holiday dinner and used to stock the pantry shelves, according to Anna Shadowski, Director of Community Relations at the Clearinghouse. She said the donated meals will help feed the Clearinghouse’s clients and additional family members who may be visiting for the holidays.

“Extra family means extra food, and some families cannot come up with the extra food,” she said.

Lisa Baldwin from Fort Smith, who is raising her two young grandchildren, said she got the call from the Clearinghouse notifying her she would receive the holiday dinner less than a week ago.

“And I was so grateful,” said Baldwin. “I’m so thankful because we didn’t know what we were going to do.”

William Jones from Hartford said he and his wife have five children to feed, and the donated dinner is going to help them a lot.

“We were wondering how we were going to get Christmas dinner to feed them,” he said. “It’s made a wonderful impact on our lives.”

In addition to the donated meal, many of the Clearinghouse’s senior clients will also receive holiday gifts like warm blankets, toasters and toiletries.