A 2013 national study named Arkansas the worst state in the country in feeding its seniors. Now the Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center is trying to change that ranking, one brick at a time.
The center has begun several initiatives recently to help bring food to seniors and generally assist in their well-being. Cayla Wilson, the center’s director, said the organization had to get creative to change the state’s hunger statistics, released by the National Foundation To End Senior Hunger.
Among the center’s initiatives is an effort to sell engraved bricks along its entrance area. For $250, donators can engrave their name or the name of a business on a brick. Wilson said the initiative sells advertising while also raising money for seniors, as the money goes toward the center for such initiatives as its Meals On Wheels campaign to bring food to seniors who need it.
An Arkansas Department of Human Services study released in 2013 found about one-third of Arkansans 60 years old or older experience some kind of hunger due to food insecurity.
Dozens of local residents and businesses have already bought bricks—including Richard’s Meat Market and Mermaids in Fayetteville—but Wilson said the center still has many bricks available.
Wilson said she hopes the efforts increase public exposure for the senior center and encourage locals to donate anything they can to the cause. The center is also hosting Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan on Wednesday to assist in the Meals On Wheels program.