Downstream Casino Resort and Quapaw Nation have been fighting hunger in the region for more than 11 years through a series of semi-annual food bank donations; now they plan to fight even harder.
The Quapaw’s 2nd delivery of 2019 food bank donations will happen this week. They are distributing 25 tons of canned food to 14 food banks and food pantries in the four-state region. That is up from 20 tons delivered to 8 locations, a year ago and the previous 10 years. The cost per year is jumping from $40,000 to $50,000.
“We have been doing this for a while, and it has been helping,” said Quapaw Nation Chairman John L. Berrey. “But it’s not enough. We are increasing our donations and spreading it to some new areas where hunger is a big problem. We hope other casinos, tribes, and other businesses and individuals will also pitch in a little harder. It’s badly needed.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual “Food Insecurity” study shows the Four-State Region of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas is one of the most food insecure regions of the country. About 11 percent of the nation’s households (14.3 million people) experience food insecurity, while that rate is about 15 percent in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas, and about 12 percent in Missouri. Meanwhile, about 4.3 percent of households nationwide have “very low food security,” with the corresponding rates in our region showing Arkansas and Oklahoma at 6.1 percent each, Kansas at 6.2 percent, and Missouri at 4.4 percent very low food insecurity. Source, U.S. Department of Agriculture: https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/interactive-charts-and-highlights/
The Quapaw Nation’s deliveries this week will include cans of corn, peas, sliced potatoes, green beans, and sliced carrots. The food bank/pantry locations are:
Quapaw Nation Food Bank (Quapaw)
Christian H.E.L.P. Center (Grove)
Quapaw First Baptist Church (Quapaw)
Salvation Army Ottawa County (Miami)
Southeast Kansas Food Pantry (Baxter Springs)
Wesley House (Pittsburg)
Word In Action (Pittsburg)
First United Methodist Church (Columbus)
Seneca Food Pantry (Seneca)
Crosslines Ministries (Joplin)
Northwest Arkansas Food Bank (Bethel Heights)
Jane Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry (University of Arkansas-Fayetteville campus)
1st Ward Food Pantry (Pine Bluff)
Lion’s Cabinet Food Pantry (University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff campus)
NOTE per delivery schedules: Locations in Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas will be delivered on Wednesday and Thursday, December 11/12, with a more accurate schedule to be released on Wednesday morning. Arkansas deliveries will be after December 12, to be determined.