Hot dog stand helping the hungry and homeless in central Arkansas

Local News
January 01 2022 12:00 am

CABOT, Ark. – Top Dog Catering was founded on April 1, 2021, but it’s no joke that the new hot dog stand is making its way around central Arkansas. 

Owner Neil Blanford says his dogs are unlike any others.

“Our chili is homemade, our smoked cheddar cheese sauce is homemade, grilled onions, we do bacon, we do peppers, all kinds and everything is fresh and homemade every day,” Blanford said.

Blanford also has a mission with Top Dog Catering. 

“I started this company with the idea that I wanted to give back to those locally who are hungry and in need,” Blanford described. 

Blanford said he was been down on his luck and in a really bad place.  Coupled with his compassion he said it was meant for him to help those who have been in circumstances like he has been in.

His mission is to help the homeless but he also helps those who may just need help.

“We’re all just one paycheck or tragedy away from being there.  So if they don’t have any food in their cabinet or can’t pay their bills, that’s where we come in,” Blanford said.

Blanford takes the proceeds from Top Dog and helps to feed and supply the homeless community in central Arkansas. 

One man who has felt the benefit from Blanford’s efforts is Dove Swope. 

“For about half my life I’ve been pretty much homeless and traveling,” Swope explained.

Swope said he met Balnford at one of his quarterly homeless drives where he collects donations to give to the homeless.  Swope now works for Blanford part-time and has other contract jobs he works too. 

Swope said he felt Blanford’s mission was also a calling for him.  He says he can relate to the homeless community because he has been there and he understands the circumstances that sometimes become the homeless and the mind frame some are in.  He wants to be able to tell people there are truly people out there who want to help because they genuinely care. 

“To show other people that we don’t have to be caught in that mind-frame that this is my lot in life,” Swope said.

Blanford has long-term plans to expand his business but right now he is focused on those who are the most in need, one dog at a time.

“If we can save one or two or three from dying in the streets and not having those needs met, we’re gonna continue to do our part as long as we’re in business,” Blanford said.

Blanford posts on his Facebook page where he will be weekly. 

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