Commodity distribution

The commodity distribution for Greene County has been scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 9 a.m. until noon or until food supplies are gone. The Commodity Distribution will be held at the Paragould Community Center 3404 Linwood Drive, Parking Lot B and C. This will be a Drive-Thru Distribution.

According to Keith Livesay, USDA Coordinator for the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, persons receiving the USDA food must reside in Greene County. Recipients must also meet the income guidelines that have been set for the emergency food assistance program.

At the time of the distribution, information cards will be filled out for all recipients. Recipients will need to provide the following information: name, address, family size and combined monthly income of the household. An appropriate form of identification such as driver’s license, social security card or picture identification card must be shown at this time also. Recipients who are unable to carry the food they receive should bring someone to assist them.

Recipients will only be allowed to pick up commodity foods for themselves and one additional household. To pick up food items for a shut-in, elderly person or other qualified household, the person picking up the food for another household must have signed Authorization Slip with all information on it from the person he or she is picking up for. The note must also contain the name, address, family size and combined monthly income of the person receiving the food. Case workers picking up for larger groups must make prior arrangements with the USDA Coordinator.

Commodity foods are distributed on a first come, first served basis. The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas and the U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, handicap, religion or national origin. Bi-lingual translators are not available on site. For more information about the distribution of commodity foods, questions concerning eligibility for this program or to volunteer to work, contact Keith Livesay at the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas by calling (870) 932-3663.

BRTC Black History Month program

Black River Technical College in collaboration with the Eddie Mae Herron Center will host Dr. Aram Goudsouzian via Zoom on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 9:30 a.m. His presentation is entitled “My Mississippi is Everywhere: James Meredith and American History.” Dr. Goudsouzian is the Bizot Family Professor of History at the University of Memphis. To register for BRTC’s Black History Month lecture, go to https://black rivertech.zoom.us/meeting/ register/tJcsdeigrTkvH twjxz8W19PxzUU06gse r9AY.

A-State Black History Month program

Upcoming Black History Month virtual events scheduled through Arkansas State University include:

A lecture presentation by State Rep. Jamie Scott of North Little Rock will start at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25. She will discuss the future of activism.

For more details about Black History Month opportunities, visit the website, AState.edu/BHM, or contact Multicultural Affairs, Room 3003 of the Reng Student Union, (870) 680-4052 or AStatemc@AState.edu.

Blood Drives

The following blood drives are scheduled this week in Jonesboro:

Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at St. Bernards Medical Center, 225 East Washington; and Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Gairhan Dental Care, 460 Southwest Drive.

Paragould City Council Meeting

The Paragould City Council meeting has been postponed from Monday 6 p.m. at City Hall to Thursday 6 p.m. at the new number 1 fire station conference room.

PLWC reports utility bill scam

Paragould Light, Water and Cable has reported that a scammer called one of its customers Friday morning. The scammer informed the customer that they had been overcharged the last few months and if the customer would send $150, the customer would get a $450 refund. The utility asks that if any of its customers receive this type of call, hang up on the scammer. Do not give out any personal information. Customers with questions about their PLWC bills should contact the utility’s Customer Service Team at (870) 239-7700.

Grants of up to $75,000 each are available to help rural Arkansas communities apply for federal grants and loans to make broadband accessible to their residents.

Broadband grants

Last year, $2 million was allocated as part of the Rural Broadband I.D. Expenses Trust Fund Grant. The program is funded by the state’s Restricted Reserve Fund and federal coronavirus aid allocated by the Arkansas Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Steering Committee created by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Just over $1 million remains available, and grant applications will be reviewed and awarded through June 30, 2021.

The broadband program is managed by the Institute for Digital Health & Innovation at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). For more information about the program or to apply for the funds, visit https://idhi.uams.edu/rural-broad band-grant.

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