ANEW Case Study: Antioch for Youth and Family

Surplus Stewardship® – The Causal Sequence

ANEW stewarded corporate surplus furniture and equipment items to Antioch for Youth and Family in
Ft. Smith, AR. How these surplus items help Antioch for Youth and Family, and how Antioch then helps the community to grow and flourish, is the subject of this case study. The surplus furniture and equipment we stewarded:
ANEW Surplus Stewardship® Metrics: 8.05 tons
25 desks
3 tables
2 bookcases
54 task chairs, side chairs, guest chairs, conference chairs, stacking chairs
credenzas/various sizes
2 shelving units
4 peds
The donor companies are ANEW sponsors Teknion and Humanscale.

Utilizing the benefits of gently used surplus furniture and equipment, and their own vision, Antioch can now continue and expand their essential work in the community, including the projects below described to ANEW by Ken Kupchick, Director of Marketing & Development at Antioch.

Ken mentions that Antioch’s positive influence in the Ft Smith community is a result of people wanting to be associated with successful organizations. He receives numerous inquiries from many different areas of the economic and geographic landscape. His litmus for taking on a project: “Test against the mission” (below).

Please see the Antioch Organization and Operations Chart for context
Antioch for Youth & Family

Among the manifold community strengthening projects Ken & Antioch drive, for this first case study draft we take a closer look at three of them:

(1) Antioch in the Park (bottom left box on the Chart)

Antioch created a partnership with retail food companies to provide a Thanksgiving feast for the body and soul. Cargill provides turkeys. Harps Food Stores contributes food items and financing this way: Antioch is able to purchase $3,000 worth of Harps discounted produce; Harps then provides a $1500 discount to help pay for it. Thus Antioch is able to purchase high-quality provisions for half the cost of wholesale. People line up early for the Thanksgiving meal, in a line three football fields long.

During last year’s event, 3,123 people were fed in three hours. A local TV station also made donations, and over 100 community volunteers assisted.

YouTube video of the event:

(2) Produce for Kids in Schools (lower left column on the Chart)

Antioch picks up produce rejected by Walmart and other retailers, then sets up a mobile farmer’s market on flatbed trucks at public schools where food insecurity is at its highest. Over 7,000 kids per month benefit from this program. The children go to the mobile market set up beside their school, and are given sacks that they fill with the produce. On one particular day, 1,700 teens from the high school and 1,400 kids from elementary and middle school visit the market each session. Thus in one day 40,000 pounds of produce is provided to 3,000 community kids.

(3) A Community Pantry offering food assistance throughout the community

The new Community Center is almost completed, furnished with lightly used furniture & equipment stewarded to Antioch by ANEW. The Pantry serves 3,500 struggling families each month with a bounty of equivalent to a 10-day supply of food. In addition to the services cited below, the Community center will provide:
– Positive People Fort Smith collect coats, gloves & scarves for people who can’t afford them; Antioch makes them available on racks, not in boxes. People can select clothing items while waiting for food at the Pantry.
– A community networking room where help from other nonprofits and government agencies come in to help people with paperwork and other social programs.
– For the elderly and disabled, who remain able to cook for themselves but lack transport to the pantry, a mobile operation is in place to help them hold on to their independence. Twelve monthly runs take food deliver food to low-income housing locations, providing sustenance for 1,500 people.
– Veterans Affairs contacted Antioch to see if they could help local veterans. Antioch initially provided placement for 3 homeless veterans; the program’s expanded to 525 families of veterans and includes nutritional help.
– Positive People Fort Smith, another nonprofit group, collects gloves and scarves for people who can’t afford them. Antioch makes them available on display racks, not in boxes.

 The Mission

“Antioch for Youth and Family,” an all-volunteer nonprofit effort, serves Western Arkansas with community solutions through persistence and partnerships. The Food Pantry provides over 800,000 meals in a community where one-in-five people are food insecure. Senior and Veterans Mobile Pantries deliver food to low income elderly, disabled and struggling families.

Whenever possible, fresh produce and frozen lean proteins are provided at the pantry, to seniors and veterans, and to food insecure children as they leave their elementary schools.

A seed-to-table farming initiative at the Antioch Discovery Garden focuses on family nutrition and garden-based learning of STEM principles.

Additional outreach efforts support and inspire at-risk children, deliver kindnesses to the frail and dying in low-income nursing facilities, and provide heartfelt family guidance and assistance.

Soon, a new location will offer a dedicated 10,000 square foot space where any individual or family in difficult straits can receive food assistance. Photo identification, social security cards for each member of the household and proof of residency is all that is required to receive food assistance. No one is ever turned away.