Little Rock Restaurants Come Together to Feed Hungry Students

For the next few days, dozens of restaurants in Little Rock are participating in a one-of-a-kind charity effort to help feed hungry children right here in our city. The drive is called “Restaurants Give Back,” and it aims to collect enough food to help children in the Little Rock School District who will be food insecure over the holiday break.

“For many kids, having a meal at school is often one of the few ways they get to eat on a regular basis,” says Pamela Smith, communications director for the Little Rock School District. “We’re excited to partner with the restaurant community, because they understand the importance of everyone having a good meal.”

This all started less than a week ago, when members of Kitchen Cabinet approached the school district with the idea. Kitchen Cabinet is a group of restaurateurs and other hospitality professionals that works in several states through the National Restaurant Association. Almost as soon as the idea was discussed, Restaurants Give Back was underway.

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“We met last Wednesday and launched 24 hours later,” says Capi Peck, owner of Trio’s Restaurant and incoming Little Rock city director. “There was just no time to waste. Best case scenario, we would have thought of it a month ago, but these children don’t have time for that. We had to act right away to help these kids get the food they need.”

Restaurants Give Back places donation baskets at close to 30 Little Rock restaurants. Diners are encouraged to drop off non-perishable food items from now until Thursday, when the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance will collect the food and help distribute it to children in 14 schools in time for the holiday break. The Little Rock School District has identified the following foods as being most needed:

  • Canned meats/fish/poultry
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruits
  • Canned/packaged meals
  • Peanut butter
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauces
  • Cereal
  • Soups
  • 100% Juices

This won’t be the last time you’ll see Restaurants Give Back around town. Peck says the next big drive will take place before spring break, when students will be out of school for nine days. For the school district, it’s a welcome effort that shows just how strong the Little Rock community can be.

“We’re just appreciative to have the community partnerships where people want to be involved,” says Smith. “We don’t even have to ask, sometimes they volunteer when they want to make a difference. So we’re appreciative of those relationships.”

If you want to contribute, drop off your donation at any one of the following restaurants:

  • The 1836 Club
  • Big Orange Midtown and West
  • Big Whiskey’s
  • Cajun’s Wharf
  • Caper’s
  • Chick-Fil-A (participating locations)
  • Copper Grill
  • Firehouse Subs in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Maumelle
  • Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
  • Heights Taco & Tamale Co.
  • Local Lime
  • Lost Forty Brewing
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop
  • The Root
  • South on Main
  • Trio’s Restaurant
  • U.S. Pizza in Central Arkansas
  • Whole Hog Café North Little Rock
  • ZaZa’s

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Little Rock Restaurants Come Together to Feed Hungry Students