CALS Foundation receives $12,500 from Tyson Foods for projects tackling food insecurity

Grant will support Little Free Pantries and Community Fridges throughout Central Arkansas 

Little Rock – The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) Foundation announced today a $12,500 grant from Tyson Foods for Be Mighty Little Rock.

Founded in 2018, Be Mighty is a program that connects Central Arkansans with food resources.

Headquartered at CALS’s Children’s Library & Learning Center, Be Mighty operates free USDA afterschool and summer meal programs for youth at eleven library branches. To provide additional meal resources to children and caregivers, Be Mighty also operates ten Little Free Pantries and two community fridges from library branches.

Tyson Foods’ investment will allow the Central Arkansas Library System to continue to regularly stock the Little Free Pantries and community refrigerators.

The Little Free Pantries allow 24-hour access to free shelf-stable goods. They are filled with canned proteins, vegetables, fruits, snacks, soups, and hygiene items. The fridges are stocked with fresh produce, proteins, dairy products, and other essentials. CALS relies on in-kind donations from community members and Potluck Food Rescue and grant funding to stock these resources weekly. In 2023, the pantries and fridges provided more than 45,000 pounds of food to community members experiencing food insecurity.

“While USDA meals help reduce food insecurity among children, little free pantries and community refrigerators allow Be Mighty and CALS to support the whole family and all patrons who seek out resources at the library,” said Be Mighty Coordinator Jessica Frazier-Emerson. “With the rising cost of food, contributions to Be Mighty’s supplemental meal efforts enable us to help bridge the gap Arkansans are seeing between their paychecks and their monthly grocery bills.”

CALS’s Little Free Pantries are located at the following branches: Children’s Library & Learning Center, Dee Brown Library, Fletcher Library, Maumelle Library, McMath Library, Brooks Library (Wrightsville), Nixon Library (Jacksonville), Rooker Library, Terry Library, and Thompson Library. The Community Fridges are located at McMath Library and Nixon Library (Jacksonville).

“Tyson Foods is committed to making our communities the best they can be,” said Tim Grailer, senior director of social impact, Tyson Foods. “We are grateful for our nonprofit partners that work hard each day to improve our shared communities and are honored to invest in their efforts.”

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