Quapaw Nation Donates a Truckload to the Campus Food Pantry
Mikayla Hammers and Lane Berry at the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry.
Lane Berrey, a junior in Political Science and Communications, is passionate about hunger and food insecurity. She began volunteering at the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry last semester, at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. She had interned with Arkansas Hunger Relief over the summer, and, she says, “I just wanted to continue that work here on campus.”
One day she says she was talking with her father, John Berrey, who is the chairman of the Quapaw Nation. She was expressing her concerns about the problem of hunger on campus and the fact that certain things, like personal hygiene items and fresh produce, were regularly out of stock.
During that conversation, her father reminded her that the nation regularly donates to food banks. In fact, over the last decade, they have been donating between $40,000 and $50,000 worth of food – about 40 tons – every year to food banks in the four-state area, according to Sean Harrison, a spokesperson for the Quapaw Nation.
Chairman Berrey pointed out that the Quapaw Nation were the original people of Arkansas, and “we are a lot like today’s people of Arkansas — we are big-hearted, generous and thoughtful.”
So they agreed to begin regularly donating food to Full Circle, making it one of 10 food banks and pantries in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas to receive donations in two large deliveries each year, usually in the spring and again between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Last Monday, the first donations arrived: 336 cases of canned food, including tuna, chicken, soup, beans, peas, carrots, corn, mixed vegetables and tomatoes. The donation also included packages of rice, pasta, mac-n-cheese, ramen, cereal, oatmeal, granola bars and more.
Previously the nation sent packages of home and personal hygiene products such as laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoo and body wash.
Mikayla Hammers, the data and operations coordinator for Full Circle, says they really appreciate the large donation. “This means a lot to us, because it will get us through the summer.”
Berrey said that while she’s disappointed that that people need to come to the food pantry, “I’m grateful that it’s here.”
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