Fort Smith Seniors to be Featured in Story About Hunger

Posted on: 12:45 pm, December 24, 2013, by

River Valley senior citizens will be highlighted in an upcoming series about the struggles of hunger in the U.S.

National Geographic visited Fort Smith last week, where, according to Ken Kupchick with the River Valley Regional Food Bank, 1,800 seniors face hunger.

“We know about 700 seniors are skipping meals a whole day or more at a time simply because they don’t have the money to buy food,” said Kupchick.

Kupchick said National Geographic will be profiling and shadowing Charolette Tidwell, a local “pioneer” who has dedicated her life to feeding hungry. Tidwell delivers groceries to several senior centers in the Fort Smith area each week.

Tidwell said she’s been feeding the hungry for 13 years and began to focus on helping seniors six years ago after she witnessed an elderly woman buying cat food at the grocery store to eat for protein. Tidwell has a background in nursing and said nutrition is vital in keeping seniors healthy and functioning.

She purchases groceries from the River Valley Regional Food Bank with funds donated to her organization, Antioch District Association for Youth and Family. When the funds run out, Tidwell dips into her own pockets to buy groceries.

Kupchick said the National Geographic piece will be a five-minute video posted to the publication’s website and YouTube channel this spring.

To make a tax-deductible donation to Tidwell’s organization, make checks payable to: Antioch For Youth and Family
1728 N. 46 Circle
Fort Smith, AR 72904


PO Box 1571
Fort Smith, AR 72901