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Department of Human Services Hosts Food Trucks, Craft Fair on Friday in LRDate: 09/15/2016
LITTLE ROCK – The Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Developmental Disabilities Services Fall Food & Craft Fair this Friday will showcase the vast talents of its clients in a fun, family-friendly environment.
The event will take place Friday, Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Little Rock on 7th Street outside the central DHS offices. That portion of 7th Street will be closed to traffic during the event.
Nearly two dozen vendors will have for sale everything from dog treats to handmade rugs, bird houses, piggy banks, paintings and other crafts. Meanwhile, some of Little Rock’s best food trucks will be in attendance.
DHS Program Administrator Yvette Swift is excited about the Fall Food & Craft Fair and what it represents to the people with developmental and intellectual disabilities that DHS serves. This is the first year that DHS has hosted such an event.
“This is a chance for our clients both in those living in human development centers and those living in the community to showcase their talents,” Swift said. “They’ll bring their arts and crafts, paintings, Christmas ornaments, calendars, and cards. We even have a client who works with a dog biscuit company that makes organic dog food."
The fair will help to provide financial assistance to the participating clients from community programs throughout the state and the five DDS Human Development centers located in Arkadelphia, Booneville, Conway, Jonesboro and Warren. Clients keep 100 percent of the proceeds from their sales
Cindy Alberding, executive director of Independent Case Management, said the Fall Food & Craft Fair has the participants enthused.
“They understand that when they sell their products, they get money,” she said. “It’s very exciting for them to have any venue to sell some of what they’ve done. And it’s very productive. They take great pride in the work they do.”
Josh Fleming -- who helps to delivers pies, does artwork and assists in making dog treats – is among the clients who will participate in the Fall Food & Craft Fair. He has big plans for the money he’ll earn Friday.
“It feels good to make money,” Fleming said. “I want to save the money to buy a house, get married, have kids, get food, and clothes.”
The Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) provides funding for community and facility-based care and services to thousands of Arkansans who have developmental or intellectual disabilities.
“We are working hard to give adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities opportunities to work and be creative, and the Fair really represents our efforts,” said DDS Director Melissa Stone. “I encourage people, especially those who work in downtown Little Rock to come out and show their support.”
Sponsors include Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield and Goodwill Industries of Arkansas. Photos of items for sale are online at https://www.facebook.com/events/164736133931423/.
Some vendors can only accept cash, although some will accept credit cards. For more information, contact Swift at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-682-4268.