UAMS and its Northwest Arkansas Community Partners Deliver Food to Families in Isolation or Quarantine

By David Wise

UAMS coordinated the event as part of the Northwest Arkansas Equitable Food Response and Relief project, which was funded by the Walmart Foundation. Through the project, the UAMS Office of Community Health and Research (OCHR) is partnering with the Arkansas Community Foundation to address gaps in food access in Northwest Arkansas.

A UAMS volunteer unloads food boxes.

The food boxes were donated from the Samaritan Community Center, Feed the 479, Second Street Pantry, and Northwest Arkansas Food Bank. The quarantined families who received the food were referred from the Community Clinic, the Marshallese Educational Initiative, the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, and a UAMS community needs survey shared with the poultry industry, health care providers and local colleges and universities.

“COVID-19 cases have risen dramatically over the past weeks in Northwest Arkansas,” said Krista Langston, community program director for OCHR. “At UAMS and as a community, we are committed to reaching our community members who are facing food insecurity, particularly families in quarantine and struggling to access food.”

A 53-foot Tyson Foods refrigerated trailer truck loaded with food boxes  parked at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus in Fayetteville. Volunteers then loaded up vans and personal vehicles with boxes of food and set out to deliver them to families that are in home isolation or quarantine.A long line of cars waiting to have food boxes loaded for delivery.

Local families received:

  • 28-lb. produce box
  • 10-lb. protein box
  • 16-lb. shelf-stable goods box

On Saturday, Ozark Regional Transit is providing buses so a second wave of volunteers can deliver a variety of shelf-stable items to more families. Seeds That Feed picked up and delivered all the food for Saturday’s delivery.

“The ripple effects of the pandemic’s impact on our health and economy has placed hundreds of families in a state of food insecurity,” said Chris Long, Ph.D., senior program director, adding that community partners hope to continue this effort during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UAMS straff and students load up a car for food delivery.

“Daily changes in the community’s needs require a rapid coordinated response, which is why the Northwest Arkansas Equitable Food Response and Relief project was established. We are all grateful to the Walmart Foundation for the funds to address these disparities during this critical time and the community partners who have stepped up to address these needs for NWA families,” Long said.

A flyer with links to a referral form and more information, can be found at


UAMS volunteers Peter Cooper and Krista Langston make sure the volunteer drivers follow proper safety protocol when delivery the food boxes. Unloading the truck. Over 200 quarantined or isolated families were reached with the emergency food box deliveries.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state’s Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — cancer, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health.

The UAMS Northwest Regional Campus includes 250 medical, pharmacy, nursing and health professions students, 50 medical and pharmacy residents, and 1,000 community-based faculty. The campus has nine clinics including a student-led clinic and physical, occupational and speech therapy. Faculty conduct research to reduce health disparities. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.