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story.lead_photo.caption Cindy Lucariello, pantry manager for the Conway County Care Center, 108 W. Broadway in Morrilton, holds boxes of cereal. The pantry will conduct its annual cereal drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and people may drop off donations. Also, a donation box will be displayed at Kroger in Morrilton this week, and donations may be dropped off there on Saturday. - Photo by Mark Buffalo

MORRILTON — Cindy Lucariello, the pantry manager at Conway County Care Center in Morrilton, said the goal of its upcoming cereal drive is to stock the pantry for summer when school is out.

“Summer’s a little higher demand,” she said. “You’ve got to feed your kids in the summer; they’re home.”

The nonprofit organization’s annual cereal drive is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, 108 W. Broadway.

She said the Care Center Thrift Store will be open that day for shopping and the dropping off of donations. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cereal, cereal bars and oatmeal will be accepted, she said.

“We serve anyone in Conway County — the majority of our clients are single families, one person in the household, and the majority are over the age of 50,” she said.

Lucariello said cereal is good to have on hand because it’s easy for children to prepare.

She said that last year, the cereal donations were divided among other pantries, and Conway County Care Center received about 100 boxes.

“We’re hoping to do a little better than that,” she said.

Kroger in Morrilton is helping out for the second consecutive year, she said.

“They have been wonderful partners with us in helping us tremendously in any endeavors we have,” Lucariello said.

Loeta Killough, Customer First Promise team lead for Kroger in Morrilton, said the store will set out a box the week before the event to accept cereal donations.

“People can come in and buy the cereal, or if people want to donate money, they can,” she said.

The cereal drive will culminate at Kroger from 9-1 on Saturday, too. It is being held in conjunction with an emergency-services day at the same time.

“There’ll be firetrucks and a mobile command center here on the parking lot,” she said, adding that residents may bring their weather radios to be set.

“Kroger wants us involved with the community, and we try to do as much as we can,” Killough said.

Lucariello said Sacred Heart Catholic School will collect cereal donations as well. The Loaves and Fishes group of Morrilton First United Methodist Church will man the thrift store during the drive.

Jonathan Kelley of Morrilton, founder of the church group, said members divide the year into quarters to plan the group’s service projects.

“Once a year, we go and open up the care center and try to get other organizations to take over the months we’re not,” he said. “They’re usually not open on Saturday. We try to open the first of the month when people have money. We let people shop [the thrift store], and we usually have a sale of some sort and do some sort of special collection.”

He said that in the winter, the group might collect coats; in the summer, it might be tennis shoes or, in this case, cereal.

“It depends on what [the care center] needs,” Kelley said.

The Conway County Care Center is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For more information, call the center at (501) 354-1454.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or

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