Great(er) Outdoors

May 11, 2021

Community

Tyson + NWA Food Bank = Community Empowerment

NWA Daily

Tyson Foods and the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank are teaming up to empower the community through monthly mobile food pantries.

  • What is a food bank? Founded in 1989, the NWA Food Bank is a local nonprofit dedicated to making sure children, families, and communities across NWA don't face hunger.
  • Food for thought: Tyson awarded a $500,000 grant to the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank that will provide monthly mobile food pantries to the community for a year. The pantries will serve 6,000 people in Springdale, Rogers, and Fayetteville communities monthly.

Distribution events and more can be found HERE.

Business

Job Growth Slows, NWA Struggles to Find Workers

NWA Daily

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest report, job growth in the US dropped significantly after showing a glimmer of recovery earlier this year. However, employers in NWA are struggling to find workers as the economy reopens.

  • On a national level: US job growth decelerated in the month of April after adding 770,000 jobs in March and 536,000 in February. In the same report, unemployment increased to 6.1 percent with 9.8 million unemployed individuals in the country.
  • What does this mean for NWA? It's not a surprise, but the tourism and hospitality industry took one on the chin last year and is still fighting to re-build to pre-pandemic levels. It is likely the employees who were laid off moved onto other career fields, leaving a gap in that sector.
  • Quote: "I do think it’s competitive, I think everyone is in need of staff," Said Kalene Griffith, President and CEO of Visit Bentonville.

You can find more on NWA's need for employees HERE.

Events

It Just Comes Natural...

Northwest Arkansas Naturals

The NWA Naturals are gearing up for their first full season in over two years. The season home opener is tomorrow night, May 11, against the Tulsa Drillers.

  • Last week, the Naturals went 3-2 against in-state rivals, Arkansas Travelers, down in Little Rock. The Tulsa Drillers will be the Naturals first home series after a two year break.
  • Quote: “there’s not a guy that’s gonna be on our lineup or on our roster that doesn’t appreciate the value of having fans and just being fortunate enough to play this game,” said Naturals Manager Scott Thurman.

Mark your calendars for this game and the rest of the Naturals' home games HERE.

Health & Wellness

Reconnecting With the Outdoors

NWA Daily

In the last year, the outdoors became a much-needed escape for all of us. With Arkansas Parks seeing record high numbers, it's apparent the great outdoors seemed even greater in the midst of shutdowns.

  • For many NWA residents, utilizing public green spaces like Kessler Mountain Regional Park, Coler MTB Preserve, and Razorback Regional Greenway provided a way to safely socialize, exercise and connect with nature.
  • The Arkansas Traveler caught up with two U of A Students to discuss how their lives have changed and how they're prioritizing staying outdoors as life (hopefully) returns to normal.

You can read the full story HERE.

Sports

Special Olympics Return to Fayetteville

Like many other things, the Special Olympics Arkansas Area 3 games were cancelled last year due to the pandemic. This past Friday, the games returned to Fayetteville and athletes from Washington, Benton and Madison counties competed once again.

  • Quote: "It teaches all kinds of things for these athletes with disabilities," said Area 3 director Tonja McCone. "Social skills, communication skills, and working their body and being healthy."
  • The Special Olympics works to serve athletes with disabilities by working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year to put on the events. Qualifying athletes can become eligible to compete at the 2021 Summer Games in Searcy in July.

Read more about the encouraging story and how you can get involved HERE.

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