All posts by Barbara Jenkins

Breakfast and Lunch: A School’s Commitment to Feed Children During the Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic plaguing the country, Charleston School District (CSD) followed the guidance of Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson, by closing school doors on March 16, 2020. The hallways are dark, and classrooms are empty, but Charleston School District, (among other area schools), is committed not to let their students go hungry at home.

Charleston teachers, administration, and volunteers joined together to provide area children two meals a day—a breakfast and lunch meal delivered to their doors.

Superintendent, Melissa Moore spoke about the meal delivery program.

“We have 873 students at CSD. We currently deliver meals to over 380 students, and the numbers grow each day. That’s 44% of our student body.”

CSD does not discriminate when it comes to giving lunches to students 18 and under.

According to Moore, students do not need to be enrolled at CSD to receive a meal if they are living in the district.

“Some children are living with extended family at this time. We understand that. Any child under the age of 18 can get breakfast and lunch from us. We can feed any child that might benefit from getting a breakfast item, juice, milk, and lunch entrée,” she stated.

Moore wanted the meal request process to be seamless for parents and students.

“We created a Google document for parents and students to fill out, so we know where to deliver and how many meals they need for each home,” Moore explained.

“I also contacted each household by using an all-call system and advertised the program on social media,” she added.

Moore expressed gratitude to all of the selfless volunteers who are on the frontlines of this program.

“Our food service employees are doing amazing work to get the requested meals prepared before the volunteer teachers and coaches deliver at 11:00 a.m. each day.”

Delivery services consist of cars that deliver in the Charleston city limits, and buses travel to rural communities. Approximately 260 meals are provided to rural homes.

(AVECC serves electricity to approximately 700 households in the CSD district)

The meal delivery program began March 23 and will continue until CSD officially ends the school year on May 22.

At Arkansas Valley Electric, we believe in changing the communities we serve. Learning about stories like CSD helps us remember that during times of trial, our communities come together and help make a difference in our lives.

AVECC sincerely thanks all of the area schools, organizations, and individuals for going above and beyond to serve their students and communities.

For more like this, follow AVECC on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and visit www.avecc.com.

 

 

Fiber Internet is Ideal for Cord-Cutters

“Cutting the cord” is certainly a popular notion right now. However, when it comes to making the decision there can be lots of confusion and pitfalls with the move. It might feel like you are saying goodbye to all your old TV friends, or overwhelmed with a sea of options, or sounds like a way to save money. What to do?

Our goal at Wave Rural Connect is to help you decide whether to stick with traditional subscription TV or jump into the “stream”. We know we have the right service to support you no matter your call.

Making The Connection
The first step to “cutting the cord” is to have the right internet service. The three most important factors in video streaming are speed, latency (signal lag that causes freezing and pixelation), and data limits.

Fiber-optic connections do not have the distance and interference issues of traditional copper lines or satellite feeds.

Fiber-optic connections do not have the distance and interference issues of traditional copper lines or satellite feeds. Fiber is amazingly-fast and has extremely low latency. Last, fiber is the future of hard-line communications and will soon be the standard for the home or office.

Wave Rural Connect internet packages run over our all-fiber network. We offer services up to 1 Gigabit. So we have knocked out two concerns, speed and latency. But what about data limits and overages? Simple. We do not cap data or throttle bandwidth.

100 Mbps Fiber Internet: Great for small families who do general browsing, HD streaming, and light gaming.

1 Gigabit Fiber Internet: Excellent for large families who do heavy or 4k streaming, UHD gaming, and video uploads.

Want to know more about:

  • MAKING THE CONNECTION
  • GET A TV ANTENNA
  • STREAMING SERVICES
  • STREAMING DEVICES
  • STREAMING SAVES MONEY
  • MAKING THE FINAL DECISION

 

Read more at  Wave Rural Connect. 

AVECC Donates to the Wallace Milton Scholarship Fund

Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative is committed to supporting education in the Arkansas River Valley. For more than 40 years, AVECC has been providing scholarships to the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas.

Earlier this year, AVECC donated $3,500, as part of the University of the Ozarks’ Wallace M. Milton scholarship fund.

Milton served as AVECC’s superintendent in 1937 and later served as General Manager, and Manager Emeritus upon his retirement in 1968.

The Wallace M. Milton scholarship fund was established in memory of Milton following his death in 1976.

Pictured (L-R) Kevin Baskin, Member Service Representative AVECC, Rebecca Lester, Director of Major Grants University of the Ozarks, Sam Davis AVECC Board of Directors(Vice President

Food Faves “Cody’s Buffalo Wing Dip”

We are introducing Arkansas Valley Electric’s FOOD FAVES!

After a few weeks at home, we’re all looking for new recipes to avoid cooking the same five dishes over and over again.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of Arkansas Valley Electric employees’ go-to quick recipes.

This week’s recipe is by AVECC Multimedia Specialist, Barbara Jenkins of Scranton.

  Cody’s Buffalo Wing Dip

“My husband introduced me to a 4-ingredient dip he learned in college. Years later, it is one of our go-to snacks, lunches, and movie night specials. We like to eat the dip with chips, crackers, and even as a sauce on chicken tacos!” -Barbara Jenkins

Ingredients:

cream cheese

canned chicken chunks

Frank’s RedHot Wings Buffalo Sauce

Ranch Dressing

Tools: mixing bowl, stirring spoon, hand mixer (optional)

Servings: Approximately 6 servings

Time: 10 minutes

  1. Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl. (I always microwave the cream cheese 30 seconds to make it easier to stir.)
  2. Drain canned chicken chunks, so no water is left.
  3. Pour chicken chunks in the mixing bowl.
  4. Stir cream cheese and chicken chunks (for a creamier dip, use a hand mixer)
  5. Add buffalo sauce to taste (I used 1/3 cup for this batch.)
  6. Add Ranch Dressing to taste. (I used 4 tablespoons for this batch.)
  7. Stir all ingredients until evenly distributed.
  8. Dip the chips and enjoy!

NOTE: The dip can be served warm or cold.

 

Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative (AVECC) Suspending Service Disconnections until April 17 in Response to COVID-19

Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative (AVECC) will be continuing to suspend service disconnections for residential and business customers until April 17, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

AVECC’s efforts to encourage social distancing will continue until further notice by closing office lobbies. On-site payments will be taken via drive-thru options at the Ozark, Waldron, and Van Buren locations. The drop box option will be available at the Pocola location. These services will continue to be available during regular business hours from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday. Customers may also pay online.

AVECC leaders are continuing to monitor the unprecedented public health emergency closely. They will continue to evaluate AVECC’s response to the rapidly evolving situation weekly.

Ben Shaffer, COO, stated, “Business continuity plans developed by electric cooperatives are designed to maintain the health and safety of the people working for them and to ensure that business-critical operations continue without interruption. These measures help ensure that your electric co-op continues to provide reliable electricity during a business continuity event. Our number one priority is to serve our membership and keep our employees safe. We will continue to keep the lights on in our communities.”

Planning for a health emergency, such as a pandemic, is unique from other business continuity planning. It requires businesses to prepare to operate with a significantly smaller workforce, a threatened supply chain, and limited support services for an extended period.

Al Simpson, CEO, stated, “AVECC is continuing to be prepared in the event there is a significant impact from the coronavirus in our communities. We are focused on maintaining a healthy workforce and keeping key personnel such as line workers and member service representatives available so we can continue to provide excellent service.”

In addition, AVECC encourages customers to be on the lookout for suspicious emails, phone calls, or persons impersonating business employees or charitable organizations. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of opportunities such as this when households are otherwise preoccupied. If you get a call from someone claiming to represent AVECC, and they make threats or demand immediate payment, hang up and immediately call AVECC at 479-667-2176.

AVECC encourages customers to contact customer service departments with any questions or concerns and can assist customers with any necessary payment arrangements.

 

AVECC COVID-19 Q&A

SERVICES and OPERATIONS QUESTIONS

  1. Will AVECC continue to connect and disconnect services?
  2. Yes, AVECC will continue providing regular connect and disconnect services, as requested.
  3. If my power goes out, will AVECC restore my power?
  4. Please report any outages using the existing outage reporting protocol by going to our website, using our app, or by phone. AVECC will restore power as safely and quickly as possible.
  5. If I need maintenance on my outdoor light, will AVECC assist me?
  6. Until further notice, all outdoor light services are on hold. If you have specific questions or requests, you may call member services.
  7. Will AVECC trim my trees?
  8. If you have a right-of-way issue, please contact member services. However, all regularly scheduled tree trimming services are on hold until further notice.
  9. Will AVECC pull my meter if I have electrical work scheduled?
  10. AVECC will continue to provide this service after the request is made.

 

BILLING QUESTIONS

  1. If I do not pay my bill by the date on my shut off notice, will you disconnect my power?
  2. All disconnects will be on hold until April 17th as of March 20, 2020.
  3. If my employment or financial situation has changed due to the COVID-19, will AVECC work with me on payment arrangements?
  4. If you need alternate payment options, please call member services to discuss a payment plan.
  5. I can’t pay my entire bill. Will AVECC charge a late fee?
  6. No, there will be no late fees applied to bills that cannot be paid before April 17,2020. However, we do encourage members to pay as much of their monthly bill as you are comfortable with in order to avoid higher payments in future months.
  7. Can I pay my bill from home?
  8. AVECC has multiple options to pay your bills from the comfort of your home including pay online on our website, via our app, and over the phone, including text-to-pay.
  9. Can I pay my bill at AVECC locations?
  10. Our lobby is closed until further notice, but the drive-thrus are open from 8:00 am-5:00 pm Monday through Friday at the Ozark, Waldron, and Van Buren location and the drop box in Pocola. Our ten kiosks are also available. Find a kiosk near you: avecc.com/waystopay/paysite-kiosks/

 

PLEASE NOTE:

  • If you did not find the answer to your question here, please call member services to talk to a member services representative.
  • Some issues will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
  • All services are subject to change during the fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This Q&A was created specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are not normal operating procedures.
  • Please feel free to call member services for any further questions at 1-800-468-2176.

 

Last updated: March 20, 2020