Friday, June 08, 2012

TOP STORY >> Cereal drive starts Tuesday

Leader staff writer

If you’re grocery shopping in Beebe, chances are you’re at Knight’s, the only grocery store in town if you don’t count the dollar stores that carry a few grocery items.

So why would the store owners need to run a sale on cereal that is expected to lose them thousands of dollars?

It’s not just to get you into the store. You’re going there anyway.

Kent Knight, one of the store owners, said the dollar-a-box special on Kellogg cereal he’s running Tuesday morning is partly about promoting the business.

But mostly, it’s his donation to the summer cereal drive overseen for 12 years by THV, a Little Rock television station.

Knight said he hopes the sale says to his customers that he wants to help the community. But he knows that his donation will make their donations go farther.

Take the $200 that Beebe firefighters collected this week during a training meeting after they got a call from Cory Simmons, one of the store managers. That $200 will pay for 200 boxes of cereal that will end up in food pantries, which will distribute it to needy families.

Without the dollar-a-box sale, that same $200 would pay for only about 70 boxes of cereal.

The sale kicks off from 5 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Tuesday while Tom Brannon, one of the hosts of THV’s morning program, is in the store parking lot with his collection bin.

The next Tuesday, June 19, Brannon will be at the Knight’s store in Cabot where the same sale will be running on Kellogg cereal.

Knight said he expects to sell at least 25,000 boxes of cereal during those seven hours combined.

Much of it will be bought by groups like the Beebe firefighters.

Pat Robertson with Knight’s said 22,577 boxes of cereal were donated last year. Of those, 16,104 were collected at the Cabot store and 6,473 were collected at the Beebe store.

She said Knight’s hopes to surpass that record this year.

But if this year is like last year, some of the cereal will go to bargain hunters. Knight said he understands that people like to fill their pantries at the lowest possible price.

But he hopes this year they put most of what they buy into Brannon’s bin.

“It’s supposed to go to the program,” he said.

As of Thursday evening, those 25,000 boxes of cereal hadn’t arrived. But Knight said he is confident Kellogg will get them to the store on time.

So since you probably need to pick up a few things anyway, the Knight family suggests you shop early on Tuesday to take advantage of the sale to help with the summer cereal drive. And while you’re there, drop by the tent that will be set up on the parking lot for donuts, cookies, milk and coffee.

“We make a big event out of it,” Knight said.