Community members gathered to celebrate a successful summer for meal programs in Little Rock. The community members or “Be Mighty Heroes” make the magic happen, in that their organizations keep the lights on, make sure food is on the table, and offer more than a meal by providing fun, active, and educational ways for kids and teens to spend their summer days. Some of the sites even served meals on weekends too. While sponsoring organizations receive reimbursements for the meals, there are lot of other expenses that are not covered through the USDA reimbursements. A major help to many families was a new Be Mighty LR partnership with Rock Region METRO that allowed many families with transportation challenges to get to the meal sites where food was being served. CALS distributed 1,200 Be Mighty METRO passes that provided kids, teens, and caregivers unlimited rides on any Rock Region METRO Route from June 1-July 31 resulting in 16,792 rides.
Community Centers, Libraries, and non-profits were represented at the Be Mighty Heroes Luncheon on September 10, 2019. During the event, meal providers shared success stories, challenges, and discussed what type of support they would need going forward. Organizations were recognized for exemplary service and programming. One highlight for the Central Arkansas Library System was that meals sites served 50 percent more summer meals this year!
The following meal sites and meal providers were recognized for their service and programs.
Stephens Community Center- Most Fit Site
Southwest Community Center& Williams Library- Early Riser
Brandon House, Fab 44, and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School- Nutrition Know it All
War Memorial Splash Pad- Coolest Site
Dee Brown Library- Veteran Site
Terry Library & Little Rock Zoo- Rockin’ Rookies
Greater Second Care Center & Brandon House- Enrichment Programs
FEED First USA- Veteran Sponsor
Main Library, Williams Library, Children’s Library- Weekend Warriors
The following sites were not photoed but received awards: Eco Kidz Project-Sustainability, Equal Heart- Longest Summer Ever, and Little Rock School District- Nutritious & Delicious