Fayetteville Roots Festival, Crystal Lake Farms donate 3,200 pounds of food to charity

David Courtney of NWA Food Bank, Orien Bedwell of Crystal Lake Farms, and Jerrmy Gawthrop from Fayetteville Roots Festival post for a photo to commemorate a large donation of protein to the food bank

The folks behind the Fayetteville Roots Festival have done it again.

In addition to running a successful sold-out music festival for another year, organizers of the event have once again facilitated a giant protein donation to several local food banks.

Festival organizers and partners from Crystal Lake Farms distributed the loot this year, in the form of 40 cases of frozen free range chicken, to five local organizations just before Christmas.

“Fayetteville Roots Festival has always been about three things; music, food, and community,” said organizer Jerrmy Gawthrop. “We want to be an example, and show that our little festival has roots that go deeper in the community, and reach more people than just the 1,200 people that come to the event.”

NWA Food Bank, Life Source International, Feed Communities, Seven Hills Homeless Center, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s community meals program were the recipients of the chicken this year.

The donation was originally intended as part of the prize package for the festival’s new Iron Chef-style live cooking competition that debuted during the 2015 event. Local chefs Vince Pianalto and Patrick Lane of Arsaga’s at the Depot, competing to win donations for NWA Food Bank and Seven Hills, won this year’s challenge.

Roots Festival organizer Jerrmy Gawthrop said Crystal Lake Farms VP of Sales and Marketing Orien Bedwell decided to come up with the additional product to spread the love around a little bit further, and make sure the other deserving charities also received donations.

It’s the second straight year that Fayetteville Roots Festival has partnered with Crystal Lake Farms for a large chicken donation after the event. Last year, they donated 3,400 pounds of product to Fayetteville Public Schools and Feed Communities.

Fayetteville Roots Festival took place Aug. 27-30 at various locations around Fayetteville. The event is set to return to Fayetteville in 2016 during the weekend of Aug. 25-28.