Charolette Tidwell Supports Healthy Eating – People Helping People Series

Friday, June 16 at 05:00 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

At a young age, Charolette Tidwell realized the importance of community and how working together can make a huge impact in someone’s life.

“I was raised poor, with 10 kids in the house;” however, “my community always said, ‘You can be anything you want to be, you can do anything you want to do, but you can’t leave anybody behind,’” Charolette said.

Her upbringing inspired her to start the Antioch for Youth and Family* organization, which provides food assistance to approximately 7,000 people each month.

Charolette’s goal is to provide food for families and educate them on the importance of good nutrition. 

“Good food keeps you well,” Charolette said. “And it keeps you up, it keeps you mobile, it keeps your brain fed so that you’re able to think.”

Charolette has focused on planting and growing healthy food in a community garden. As more children come to work in the garden, Charolette has seen a big change in the community. 

“Now what the garden has done to this area is phenomenal. We see houses in these three block areas being refurbished. We see people walking with their dogs and walking over to the garden with their children and talking to the kids about the garden.”

Charolette hopes the project she began will blossom into an even greater contribution to her community.

“My dream is that there is a resurgence in the areas we’re in,” Charolette said. “That people care for people…that people are concerned for people and that people jointly lift each other.”

“It is a revitalization of a community, block by block. That’s what we intend to achieve,” Charolette said. 

Watch* Charolette in action.

Charolette’s story is part of Arvest Bank’s People Helping People series featuring citizens giving back to their community. 

Keep an eye on our social media channels for videos highlighting the good works of dedicated citizens in the communities Arvest Bank serves.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arkansas, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, People Helping People
Richard Morris on 7/17/2017 at 12:03 AM
A decade ago, things were looking up with new construction and rising property values along with visions for the future in the old part of the city. Then came the financial collapse seemingly overnight. Investors who had come to Fort Smith to get in on things early before the market rose in our town were jolted into a reality of lost value and scarce loans from local banks for local projects. Back then a most visibly inspiring community garden tragically withered and died.It was like a sign of the times as it left a void of emptiness amidst a circle of homes teetering on potential urban blight. The old garden would remain fallow awaiting cultivation in an uncertain future. Slowly, houses were refurbished by new investors and heirs to estates, all the while with a hope that a vibrancy would take hold eventually. Housing improved, public safety strengthened, optimism grew. The garden sprouted again; not on its own, but with facilitation by the City of Fort Smith in support of cultivation by Charlotte Tidwell. Ms.Tidwell cultivated ideas and a philosophy. With her heart, mind, soul, and body she continues to cultivate the earth and its sustenance. Her efforts have transformed a void symbolic of draining life to a fertile centerpiece for a neighborhood. Her dream for a revitalization of a community block by block is now a reality. From Howard School to the Community Garden to the Future School to the Belle Grove Historic neighborhood we now have cultural continuity at an elemental level. The next step would seem to be linking the progression to downtown. Perhaps Art inspired by the Unexpected Project can link us together via a 7th street Cultural Corridor. The way is paved towards the future, we need not tread lightly. It is time to march, dance and celebrate the possibilities for a new decade. Good times will be comin' back. Thank Y'all.

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