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'Community Fridge' tackling food insecurity in central Arkansas

The Arkansas Food Bank said 1-in-5 Arkansans in central and southern Arkansas are food insecure – meaning they don't know where their next meal will come from.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Around the world, millions suffer from food insecurity every day and those issues are closer to home than you may think.

Ziggie Karr is the founder of Arkansas Community Advocates, a group aiming to fix that. But, it didn't start easy for them.

"I would say at the very beginning, we didn't have a lot of support," he said. "But I didn't let that discourage me."

Even with that hurdle, he's not letting their mission slow down.

"As long as I've been in North Little Rock, I've seen a lot of poverty," Karr said. "I've seen a lot of homelessness, there's housing projects down the road, down the road that way, and communities just like this are the ones that need it most."

Karr lives in North Little Rock, but the issue of food insecurity is bigger than just that area.

The Arkansas Food Bank said 1 in 5 Arkansans in Central and Southern Arkansas are food insecure – meaning they don't know where their next meal will come from.

But Karr is trying to make that part a little easier.

"We placed this community refrigerator here for people in the community to have more direct access to just any food that they need, whether it be non-perishable or perishable goods," he said.

The community fridge is located at 1306 W. 24th Street in North Little Rock. It's stocked with food donated from local restaurants, including bread and veggies.

"This isn't here for any gain, it's not here for anything but that, just trying to help the community," Karr said.

Anyone is able to use the fridge, and it's stocked as needed.

But solving this isn't the easiest thing to do. This helps slow the problem, but it doesn't stop it.

"You can never help everybody, that's a given," Karr said. "Whether it's one person, two people, 50 people, 100  people, if you can do anything just to help one person, that's what's important."

This is a start though. Karr said they've already helped hundreds in the community so far. 

And he said that's all it takes – just one step to help those around you.

"Really having the motivation to help others. Regardless of a profit motive, regardless of any benefit to yourself," he said. "That's what it really takes, is really being devoted to it, no matter how hard it is. It'll get easier, and we're capable of doing a lot to help humanity."

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