'They Are Hungry': Arkansas Woman Goes Above And Beyond To Help Local Kids

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
florida smithflorida smith

Lake Village, Arkansas, is a town of just 2,575, but many of its residents are poor. However, thanks to Florida Smith, some local children are staving off hunger.

Smith, also affectionately known as Grandma Baby Ruth or Ms. Florida, feeds many of her neighbors out of her own kitchen, KATV reports. She especially reaches out to local youth.

"Oh yeah, I will take care of them they don't even have to be mine. I just love children,” Smith told KATV. 

Smith lives alone, but she’s eager to whip up a home-cooked meal.

"When I came in today and got off of work, I just started me a pot of good old chicken wings,” she said.

“I don’t eat that much, but I keep it ready just in case they want something to eat," she added. "I just fix whatever I can.”

Smith keeps three refrigerators full of food, to ensure the local children don’t go hungry.

“I just go in the deep freezer and stoves and unload my food up in here. I don't eat,” Smith said. "Down here too. It has food in it too.”

The only rule for children receiving one of her home cooked meals is that they don’t try to help.

"They want to. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they get in my way,” she said.

Smith explained that the gift goes both ways -- she likes spending time with children.

“I help as much as I can to feed those kids because they are hungry," Smith said. "You know you can help the hungry children."

Mayor JoAnne Bush said Smith is a vital part of the community.

“We do have needs that maybe necessarily a program can't meet or is illegal for the city government to meet it," Bush said. "But the individuals like Ms. Florida, take out of their pocket and they meet that need."

Sources: United States Census, KATV

Photo Credit: KATV