The Little Rock School District (LRSD) held a press conference at Life Line Baptist on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, announcing the church’s food pantry as the recipient of the annual Poore Man on the Roof Food Drive.
Early in his career, LRSD Superintendent Michael Poore began hosting food drives. For the past five years, he’s done so in Little Rock. Among the food pantry recipients have been The Helping Hands, The Church at Rock Creek, Mosaic Church, The Watershed and St. Mark Baptist.
Each year, the objective for students in the district is to pile up Poore’s office with canned goods and personal hygiene items. The LRSD also sets a goal for monetary donations. All that is received is then split between a selected religious organization and/or church, LRSD’s VIPS program and Bright Futures.
“This is something that has taken a life of its own,” Poore said. “Get this. In the five years [since the district started this food drive] – this isn’t even counting this year – we have brought in over $1,000,000 of food items that go back out to the community.”
The incentive for students is to see Poore work on the roof of the LRSD office building during what they have predicted to be the coldest day of the year. After some scientific digging of their own, students at Baseline Elementary selected Jan. 31. Between now and then, the district and Little Rock community are encouraged to give at www.lrsd.org/2022pmotr.
Tuesday, Poore made a special announcement that this year Kroger would be donating $10,000 worth of gift cards to be split among recipients to aid the community. In the case of Life Line Baptist, this will impact their mission to reach those in need in Southwest Little Rock.
“We in the last month, I can tell you, gave out food to approximately 299 families and that affected approximately 1,170 people…So, receiving this food is absolutely a blessing,” said Josh Bazyk, associate pastor at Life Line.
While encouraging other local businesses to participate in donating, Poore also said that Caterpillar, the local American Fortune 100 corporation would be giving $7,000 to make a difference.
This make-a-difference goal has been on the hearts of volunteers at Life Line also. In their efforts to show Christ’s love to a diverse Southwest Little Rock, the church has been hosting a community and business leaders’ luncheon for the past twelve years.
“I have benefitted greatly from the efforts of this church as it reaches out to business leaders all over this area to come together and just talk and have open dialogue about things that are going on. Sometimes, it’s some challenging news and, sometimes, it’s some great news, but we’re always talking. And I appreciate that. I appreciate the opportunity that [the] Little Rock School District gets to be here,” Poore said.
In the end, this food drive is all about filling the needs of many.
“We have to understand that unfortunately there are certain pockets in our city that are food deserts. We also have to understand that we have students that the only meal that they will receive is while they are in school,” Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said.
“It’s all about caring about kids. It’s about doing the right thing to make sure that every kid doesn’t have anything that hinders them from doing their very best each and every day. This food drive makes that happen,” Poore said. “Let’s get it done!”
Donations may be dropped off at LRSD schools, made via CashApp – $PooreManontheRoof – or on the district’s website. You can also find donation bins for canned goods in the city’s Kroger locations.