The Fayetteville Public Library’s Food for Fees program donated 3,400 pounds of food to the local Cooperative Emergency Outreach food bank; close to 1,000 lbs. more than last year’s donation.
The Food for Fees program at the Library allowed patrons to exchange canned goods and other foods for library overdue fees during the week of Nov. 12 – 18. Library patrons receive $1 credit for each can or package of food donated. In November 2011, patrons of the Fayetteville Public Library contributed nearly 2,700 pounds of food to feed over 600 people.
Arkansas has the third highest percentage of food insecurity in the Nation, and in Washington County, one in every four people goes to bed hungry, and most are children, elderly or disabled citizens. Washington County has the second highest number of food insecure people in the state.
CEO is an all-volunteer organization founded 22 years ago to provide emergency support for individuals in Washington County, living south of the Fayetteville-Springdale city limits. The support they provide includes food, clothing, transportation assistance and payment assistance for utilities, prescription drugs and rent.
For the past four years, CEO distributed an average of more than $180,000 per year to meet emergency needs of clients. Daily support has more than doubled since 2000. On average, 44 percent of CEO distributions go for utilities, 16 percent for rent/housing, 16 percent for gasoline/transportation and 20 percent for food, clothing and prescriptions.
Well over $30,000 in food support is provided each year through church food drives, the public library, the Post Office, the Boy Scouts and school supplement food purchased from the NWA Food Bank.
Since their beginnings, they have provided food for over 155,000 people.
What You Can Do:
Due to the closure of the City Hospital in Fayetteville, CEO has been in the process of relocating to a new facility. Their goal is to be settled in a new location and once again providing their services from a central location by February 2013. A Capitol Campaign is being organized to raise funds for the purchase of a new facility. Donations are tax deductible and may be made by mail to CEO P.O. Box 3631, Fayetteville, Ark. 72702 or online at www.ceofayetteville.org.