Hunger on College Campuses on the Rise

Nearly one-fourth of college students struggle with hunger while in school, a new report finds.

LITTLE ROCK (October 5, 2016) – This week a report shows that hunger is a growing problem on college campuses across the U.S. and in Arkansas.

“Hunger on Campus”  measures the relationship between college students and food insecurity which the report defines as the “lack of reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food.”  The findings show that food insecurity is common among many colleges and universities across the country.

Four campus-based organizations – the College and University Food Bank Alliance, the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, the Student Government Resource Center, and the Student Public Interest Research Groups – surveyed college students on food insecurity between March and May 2016. The study sample includes 3,765 students in 12 states attending eight community colleges and 26 four-year colleges and universities. The sample was assembled using in-person recruitment, and represents about 0.5% of the students attending those 34 institutions.


  • 48 percent of respondents reported food insecurity in the previous 30 days, including 22 percent with very low levels of food security that qualify them as hungry.
  • Food insecurity occurs at both two-year and four-year institutions.  25 percent of community college students qualified as having very low food security, compared to 20 percent at four-year schools.
  • Food insecurity was more prevalent among students of color. Fully 57 percent of Black or African American students reported food insecurity, compared to 40 percent of non-Hispanic white students.
  • More than half of all first-generation students (56 percent) were food insecure, compared to 45 percent of students who had at least one parent who attended college.

The study also looked at what other trade-offs students were forced to make as well as educational impacts when dealing with food insecurity. Some of the key findings included 64 percent of students have difficulty choosing between paying rent or utilities or buying food.  Thirty-two percent believed that hunger or housing problems had an impact on their education.

“Reports like ‘Hunger on Campus’ reinforce the important work we are doing in Arkansas to make sure we are reaching people where they are when they need it,” says Rhonda Sanders, CEO of Arkansas Foodbank. 

Four colleges in the Arkansas Foodbank service area currently operate pantries on their campus and with the help of the King Foundation we are actively working to assist other colleges to open their own pantries.


New USDA Report Released

6 Million Americans No Longer Food Insecure

In September 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service released its annual study measuring food security, Household Food Security in the United States in 2015. This report is based on data from the December 2015 food security survey which provides the most recent statistics on the food security of U.S. households, how much households spent on food, and the extent to which food insecure households participated in federal and community food assistance programs.

Key Highlights

  • In 2015, 42.2 million (13.4%) or 1 in 8 people lived in food-insecure households compared to 48.1 million (15.4%) in 2014.i Food insecurity rates declined significantly from 2014 to 2015 in nearly every category.
  • In 2015, 15.8 million (12.7%) or 1 in 8 households were food insecure compared to 17.4 million (14.0%) in 2014.
  • Very low food security among all households declined significantly to 5.0 percent of all households, compared to 5.6 percent in 2014. iii Very low food security rates are particularly concerning because they indicate the most serious condition, when food intake of some household members is reduced and normal eating patterns are disrupted at times during the year due to limited resources.
  • In 2015, 13.1 million (17.9%) children were living in food-insecure households compared to 15.3 million (20.9%) in 2014. In 2015, 6.5 million (16.6%) households with children were food insecure, significantly lower than the number of households in 2014 (19.2% of households with children).
  •  In 2015, 2.9 million (8.3%) households with seniors experienced food insecurity compared to 3.0 million (8.9%) in 2014. The number of food-insecure households composed of seniors living alone was 1.2 million (9.2%), compared to 1.2 million (9.3%) in 2014.

Arkansas Info

  • Arkansas remains #2 overall in food insecurity in the U.S. at 19.2 percent. (19.9 percent in 2014)
  • Arkansas dropped from first to third in severe hunger or very low food security at 7.4 percent in 2015. (8.1 percent in 2014)


September is Hunger Action Month

Advocate. Educate. Volunteer. Donate.

This September the Arkansas Foodbank, together with the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, will mobilize across all 50 states in an effort to bring an end to hunger. Hunger Action Month is designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness of the fact that 48 million Americans, including 15 million children, are food insecure, according to the USDA.

In Central and Southern Arkansas, more than 287,000 people struggle with hunger and may not know where they’ll find their next meal. That number includes one in FOUR kids and seniors who may not have enough to eat.

How to Participate

Advocate. Educate. Volunteer. Donate. Everyone has a role to play in ending hunger. Take action today by contacting the Arkansas Foodbank at 501-565-8121 to get involved.  Together we are united to fight hunger!

Click the calendar below to learn more about the major events happening in September.

Serving Hope for the School Year

Now that the Arkansas Foodbank and Rice Depot are united against hunger, your gifts have the power to make an even bigger difference through programs like Food For Kids. To help you understand how you’re changing lives, we recently traveled to the Badger Family Pantry at the Badger School District campus in Beebe. Unlike many districts, nearly of all the schools in Beebe are located on a single campus. Mackye Sandlin, who manages the pantry, says there are currently students from six schools who rely on the pantry.

 This amounts to about 100 kids visiting with their families each month. When families stop by, they receive boxes full of nutritious staples distributed through your gifts to the Foodbank. Children who participate in pantry services are also eligible to receive healthy, kid-friendly groceries to take home on evenings and weekends.

Because Ms. Sandlin is responsible for six schools, the Food For Kids program at the district relies heavily on volunteers — mostly students from the high school — to hand out food. One student volunteer, Trey, was particularly moved by his experience serving. “Seeing how the pantry affects some kids made
me want to reach out,” he says. “So I got my church to sponsor [the program].”

Even the younger students get involved. Amber Jones, the Early Childhood Counselor, says a group of first-grade teachers established a food drive with their students to benefit the Badger Family Pantry. The younger kids were just as excited about helping their neighbors. One student, Will, chose to bring an item every day because he’s been so inspired by the hunger-relief work you make possible. When asked why he wants to help, his answer is simple.

“We don’t want people to go hungry,” 

Your generosity helps inspire the next generation to fight hunger. Thank you for all you do for our community!

Check out our Back to School Fall Newsletter for more stories on how your compassion can help make a difference in the lives of thousands of Arkansans.

2016 Map the Meal Gap Released

Post-Recession Numbers Show No Significant Change for Hunger Problem in Arkansas

Map the Meal Gap 2016 study indicates 25.8% of children in Arkansas Foodbank service area struggle with hunger.

LITTLE ROCK (April 28, 2016) –  Arkansas Foodbank announced the release of the annual Map the Meal Gap study, which details the startling rate of food insecurity experienced by community members in the Arkansas Foodbank 33-county service area. Map the Meal Gap 2016 results reveal that food insecurity affects the most vulnerable populations in central and southern Arkansas, including 19.9 percent of the population – 86,900 children.

Using county data from the five-year period of 2010 to 2014, Map the Meal Gap 2016 is the first report with post-Great Recession county food-insecurity estimates. Prior to Map the Meal Gap 2016, the county findings in each report were based on data from some point during the 18 months of the Great Recession, which officially began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. While the national rate has decreased since 2011, the prevalence of food insecurity across counties remains historically high since 2008, and has not yet returned to pre-Great Recession levels.


Other key findings:

  • Overall food insecurity rate in Arkansas is 19.1% which is 2nd worst in the country (567,250 people; 286,220 people in AFB service area)
  • Overall child food insecurity rate in Arkansas is 26.3% which is 5th worst in the country (185,660 children)
  • Pulaski County food insecurity rate is 21.1% (82,220 people)
  • Pulaski County child food insecurity rate is 23.4% (21,700 children)
  • In Foodbank service area, an estimated 33 percent of individuals in food-insecure households have incomes above 185 percent of the poverty line, making them likely ineligible for most federal nutrition assistance programs
  • It would take an estimated $50,529,900 each year for food-insecure individuals in our service area to buy just enough food to meet the needs of their households

A summary of the findings, an interactive map of the United States, and the full report are available at

Join the conversation about Map the Meal Gap 2016 on Twitter using #MealGap.

Foodbank Featured for Red Nose Day Promotion

We are excited to announce that the Arkansas Foodbank was selected to help promote this year's Red Nose Day on May 26, 2016 on NBC. 

Red Nose Day is a special day to have fun, come together and make a difference for kids who need our help the most - here in the US and around the world.  In 2015, Red Nose Day raised over $23 million dollars in its first year in America. Funds raised go to the Red Nose Day Fund and last year benefited children in all 50 states and 15 countries internationally through programs to keep children and young people safe, healthy and educated. 

Last year, the Foodbank Received $10,000 through Feeding America to help feed children in need in Arkansas. 

This year, Walgreen's featured one of our partner agencies,  Cayce's Charity  in Thornton. 

Take a look!

Kindness to others runs in Joannie Cayce’s family – you might say it’s a legacy. With the help of Red Nose Day funding, Feeding America and the Arkansas Food Bank provide Joannie and her volunteers with fresh and delicious food that she can then distribute to families in need in her town and surrounding areas in rural southern Arkansas

For more information about Red Nose Day, visit  and tune in live to NBC on May 26th at 8pm! 

United By Common Goal, Hunger Organizations Are Now One

United by a common goal to fight hunger in Arkansas, the Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas Rice Depot have joined together as one organization to better fulfill their shared mission of providing hungry Arkansans with more healthy and nutritious food.

On March 30th, board members, volunteers, donors, guests and staff came together to recognize the organizations’ successful histories and celebrate this momentous partnership. U.S. Senator John Boozman was the featured speaker. While the name remains Arkansas Foodbank, CEO Rhonda Sanders unveiled a new brand image and theme, United to Fight Hunger, which honors the legacy of the Arkansas Rice Depot and is reflective of the new Arkansas Foodbank’s mission. “Both organizations have long defined success as increasing the quality and quantity of food delivered to hungry Arkansans. Together, we will find solutions to achieve our shared goal of fighting hunger in our state,” said Cal McCastlain, former Rice Depot and current Foodbank board member.

“By coming together, we will improve upon what each organization did well and use our collective expertise to implement new and innovative programming focused on serving hungry Arkansans with more healthy and nutritious food,” said Jordan Johnson, Arkansas Foodbank board chairman.

Arkansas leads the nation with more than 26 percent of seniors facing food insecurity. The state is also ranked as one of the worst in the country for child hunger with more than one in four children not knowing where their next meal is coming from.

"Arkansas is a leader in agriculture but our citizens continue to suffer from hunger. As Arkansans we need to make sure our neighbors are getting the food they need and eating healthy. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress, through existing federal programs and agencies, and most importantly, our local hunger relief networks to fight hunger and malnourishment. Our state is rightfully proud of the proactive efforts of the Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas Rice Depot to fight hunger in our state,” said Senator John Boozman.

In just two months, the new organization has already distributed 3.25 million meals!

Last year, the Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas Rice Depot distributed about 25 million pounds of food to agencies that help feed the hungry. The new organization will continue existing programs such as Food For Kids, Food For Families and Food For Seniors that reach school-aged children, college students, families and seniors. The new organization will continue to utilize both facilities, with the Arkansas Rice Depot building serving as the primary point for volunteer activities, food sorting and the Food For Kids backpack program. The Arkansas Foodbank location will serve as the food distribution center to all its partner agencies.

The Arkansas Foodbank wishes to acknowledge the generous support from the following foundations that helped make this merger possible:

Donald W. Reynolds Foundation

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it has committed almost $70 million in support of food banks in Arkansas, Nevada and Oklahoma.

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

For 40 years, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has worked to make a difference by helping to build and sustain the organizations that serve and strengthen Arkansas. Through grantmaking and strategic partnerships, WRF is working even harder to help close the economic and educational gaps that leave too many Arkansas families in persistent poverty. Working together, the needle can and must move from poverty to prosperity for all Arkansans. For more information on the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, go to

Lodestar Foundation

The Lodestar Foundation is a grantmaking organization from Phoenix, Arizona devoted to maximizing the growth and impact of philanthropy and provides funds nationally and internationally to organizations that support its mission. The Lodestar Foundation congratulates the Arkansas Foodbank and Rice Depot on their merger.  We are pleased to support this exemplary collaboration.

Please visit for more information.

Here is what others had to say about the merger:

Our collective wellbeing is impacted when any person – man, woman or child, goes hungry. Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has been a supporter of the Arkansas Foodbank because of their capacity to acquire and distribute food to agencies around the state, and for implementing innovative approaches to addressing the root causes of hunger. The partnering of the Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas Rice Depot is cause for celebration. Working as one, the new organization will be stronger and better able to serve those in need.
— Sherece West-Scantlebury, President and CEO, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
River City Ministry’s mission calls for us to feed, clothe, shelter, and love those in need. For years, both the Arkansas Food Bank and Arkansas Rice Depot have assisted us in achieving this mission. We are confident going forward that the new Arkansas Food Bank will continue to meet our needs in assisting our clients, which allows us to operate a food pantry and serve a hot meal every day. This ultimately allows us a greater focus on the other mission areas that our clients desperately need.
— Ebony Kimbrough, River City Ministry
As the only food pantry in Marianna, Delta Dream is meeting a great need in our community. The Food For Kids backpack program is a blessing and makes such a difference in children’s lives. We are grateful this program will continue and are excited about what the future holds for Arkansas Foodbank.
— Evelyn Shackleford, Delta Dream Food Pantry
I truly believe by working together, the Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas Rice Depot have created an entity that will better serve agencies like ours. I know firsthand that good things happen when people work together - Hope’s Closet is a testament to that. Now that they are united, it will only strengthen their mission, which has always been to end hunger in our state.
— Kim Buchberger, Hope’s Closet and Food Pantry

Arvest Bank Partners with the Arkansas Foodbank and the Arkansas Rice Depot

Part of Bank’s Commitment to Provide Meals for Local, Hungry Families

Little Rock, AR (March 23, 2016) — Arvest Bank, (Central Arkansas), will be partnering with the Arkansas Foodbank and the Arkansas Rice Depot for the 1 Million Meals initiative, a two-month, bank-wide effort to provide one million meals or more to those in need.

Arvest is conducting its annual initiative in the spring this year rather than its traditional fall time frame due largely to the fact food banks report an increased need for food items in the summer, when many children do not have the benefit of eating meals at the schools they attend. Donations also tend to be lower in the spring and summer than at other times of the year.

The Foodbank and the Rice Depot will receive nonperishable food and monetary donations made at Arvest branches in central Arkansas from April 4 through May 28.  Together, these organizations acquire and distribute, through local and national partnerships, large quantities of food and other resources to hungry people throughout Arkansas.

“We are honored to be selected as a beneficiary of Arvest Bank’s efforts in our area,” said Rhonda Sanders, CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank/Arkansas Rice Depot.  “The food and funds raised as part of 1 Million Meals will help feed many hungry Arkansas families this summer, a time when children are home from school and the need is greater."

Central Arkansas residents can help support these organizations during the initiative by dropping off nonperishable food items or purchasing a 1 Million Meals paper can for $1 at any of the 31 Arvest branches in Central Arkansas or calling (866) 952-9523 to contribute. Every dollar raised through 1 Million Meals provides the equivalent of five meals for local, hungry families.

In its sixth year, Arvest Bank’s 1 Million Meals campaign challenges bank associates, customers and community members to participate in fundraising efforts and make donations to fight hunger in the 120 communities the bank serves. Last year, Arvest banks, associates and customers raised more than 1.6 million meals. This year’s effort benefits 69 different organizations in the four states – Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma – Arvest serves.

Serving Hope this Spring

A Retired Veteran Can Eat, Thanks to You

At 91, Alton has seen it all. When he was a boy, he and his family lived through the Great Depression. Then, as a young man, he served his country during World War II. He remembers both of these experiences well, which is why even though sometimes his budget is stretched a little thin, he knows his situation could be much worse. 

Today, Alton lives in Beebe with his son. He loves this community, which he says is the friendliest he’s ever lived in. Alton isn’t one to complain, but he admits it can be hard living as a retiree with only a small amount of Social Security to cover all his expenses. 

One day, during a visit to his local library, he learned about the pantry at Beebe Christian Outreach, the nearest Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas Rice Depot partner agency to his home. Now, Alton has access to healthy staples along with fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement his food budget. He says the food he receives here has made a world of difference in his quality of life.

“Thank you is not enough.”

Because he’s received so much help from friends like you, Alton chooses to show his gratitude by volunteering at the food pantry three days a week. He helps fill sacks of groceries for others to take home. In this role, he claims he’s become “the best doublebagger in all of Arkansas” after so much practice using two bags for the heavier groceries he packs up. 

Without access to the nourishing meals you help provide, Alton knows he wouldn’t have the energy to serve his community. He’s grateful for this gift, made possible by your generosity.

“Thank you is not enough,” Alton says. "I'm able to live better than I could without it."

For more stories like Alton's as well as the latest with our merger with Arkansas Rice Depot,  check out our Spring 2016 newsletter "Serving Hope" below.

2016 America’s Farmers Grow Communities Winner

Thanks to a local farmer, the Arkansas Foodbank was selected as a 2016 America’s Farmers Grow Communities winning organization!  The Foodbank has received a $2,500 donation from the Monsanto Fund that will provide 12,500 meals to Arkansans in need.

This is the 6th year for America’s Farmers Grow Communities.  So far,  over $22 million has been donated to more than 8,000 community organizations across rural America.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities partners with farmers to support local nonprofit causes that positively impact farming communities across rural America. Grow Communities is one program in the America’s Farmers community outreach effort, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.

Visit to learn more.

About The Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farm communities and the communities where Monsanto employees live and work.

Foodbank Receives $50,000 Grant for College Pantries

King Foundation To Support The Creation Of Six Food Pantries On College Campuses In The Delta And South Arkansas

 LITTLE ROCK (December 30, 2015) – The Arkansas Foodbank today announced a $50,000 grant from the Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation to help continue the fight against hunger in Arkansas.

The goal of this grant is to facilitate the creation of six food pantries on college campuses, which directly relates to the King Foundation’s focus areas of serving the indigent and building nonprofit capacity.  This grant will help build on the awareness of food insecurity of college students and provide training, start-up grants, and continued technical assistance to future Foodbank partner agencies.

“We are so excited to expand our efforts in fighting hunger on college campuses,” says Arkansas Foodbank CEO Rhonda Sanders.  “These new campus pantries will help students focus more on their studies as well as help them with high costs of living and tuition.”

Feeding America estimates that 10% of the 46 million individuals their food banks serve are college students, and nearly 31% of clients had to choose between paying for food and educational expenses. Preliminary findings at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff show food insecurity rates among students of 35% and 77%, respectively.

The Foodbank will begin work on reaching out to the colleges within the shared service area of the King Foundation and Foodbank in the South and in the Delta.  The goal is to establish two campus pantries by Fall 2016 and four additional food pantries in 2017.

The Arkansas Foodbank currently supports two campus pantries: Pulaski Technical College and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Serving Hope for the Holidays

A Family Can Enjoy a Holiday Meal Thanks to You

The holiday season is here, and that means many families across Arkansas are making plans to spend time around a full table with their loved ones. But the holidays aren't something everyone in our community can enjoy. 

Today, Amber is at Worldwide Christian Outreach, a Foodbank member agency near her home in Hot Springs. She’s here to pick up groceries for herself, her husband, John, and, their 8-year-old son, Christian.

Years ago, Amber never dreamed she’d need help from a food pantry. But when serious health problems ended her career as a pharmacy technician, she was no longer able to provide her family with regular access to one of life’s most basic necessities — food.

Thank you for being there

"Sometime we don't have enough to last us through the week," she says, describing her family's financial troubles.

Although her husband, a carpenter, often works seven days a week, Amber’s family still lives paycheckto-paycheck. Frustrated, but unwilling to watch her son go hungry, she decided it was time to take action.

After learning about the resources available in her community, Amber began visiting Worldwide Christian Outreach every Tuesday where she receives a box full of nutritious food. She loves seeing her son’s eyes light up when she brings home his favorite fruits and veggies — like pears and green beans.

This holiday season, thousands of hardworking families like Amber’s are at risk of going hungry. But with your continued support of the Arkansas Foodbank, parents will be able to give their children the balanced nourishment they need during the holiday season and beyond.

This coming Thanksgiving, Amber’s son will spend more time on one of his favorite hobbies — drawing superheroes. He may not know it, but because you give, you’re the true hero in his family members’ lives.

Amber certainly thinks so.

“This helps us out a lot,” she says, grateful for your gifts. “Thank you for being there.”

As we continue to work through the busy holiday season, we at the Arkansas Foodbank are grateful that you continue to stand with our hungry neighbors. Thank you so much for your compassion and generosity. 

Grant to Fight Senior Hunger

Arkansas Foodbank Receives $47,000 from the Walmart Foundation to Assist With Senior Hunger

Arkansas Foodbank  received a $47,000 contribution to assist with building capacity to better serve food insecure seniors and increase SNAP outreach across the Food Bank’s 33-county service area. The grant – which was given to the non-profit organization through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program – will work to provide workshops, webinars and community meetings to further the message of senior hunger and its impact on the community.   

For the past three years, Arkansas has been ranked by the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger as the worst state in the country for the amount of seniors facing food insecurity.

“The Walmart Foundation has been an integral part of the Foodbank’s fight against hunger in Arkansas for many years,” said Rhonda Sanders, Arkansas Foodbank CEO.  “These grants allow us to continue our holistic approach in addressing hunger in our state with better strategies for serving seniors and more capacity for some of our member agencies to serve the children and families in their communities.”

The grant was presented to Rhonda Sanders during a check presentation ceremony held today at the Food Bank located 4301 W. 65th Street, Little Rock. During the ceremony,

 “The Walmart Foundation is very pleased to be supporting the Arkansas Foodbank and is committed to helping those in need in the communities where we serve,” said Michael Lindsey, director of public affairs at Walmart. “Through this grant, we are hopeful that senior Arkansans will get more of the food that they need.”

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. To learn more, visit

Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas Rice Depot to Merge

Two Major Arkansas Hunger Relief Organizations Announce Planned Merger 

In an historic move to more effectively eliminate hunger in Arkansas, the Arkansas Foodbank (AFB) and the Arkansas Rice Depot (ARD) announced today, after approval from both organizations’ boards of directors, plans to merge effective January 1, 2016.

The two nonprofits have long been dedicated to serving hungry Arkansans through various programs reaching school-aged children, college students, families and seniors. The merger will allow existing programs of both organizations to continue, as well as expand, reaching even more in need due to gained operational efficiencies.

The current names and legacies of both AFB and ARD will be evident in the new structure, and all staff members will be retained due to the expansion of programs.

“I am thrilled by the exponential potential that this merger will create,” said Rhonda Sanders, CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank. “Both organizations exist to alleviate hunger, and we will be more effective in doing that together.”

“The new organization not only has a goal of increasing the amount of food distributed, but also the nutritional value of the food served,” added Kim Aaron, president and CEO of the Arkansas Rice Depot.

Both AFB and ARD will continue operating independently until the January merger, with all programs and special events continuing as planned. Additional information regarding the structure, plans and goals of the merged organization will be announced at a media event to be held in the coming months.

About the Arkansas Foodbank

The Arkansas Foodbank partners with more than 300 charitable organizations across Central and Southern Arkansas to distribute food to families in need. Approximately 61,000 pounds a day leave the Foodbank warehouse and are distributed at food pantries, soup kitchens, youth programs, senior centers, schools and emergency shelters. The organization was created in January 1984.

About the Arkansas Rice Depot

The Arkansas Rice Depot has been working to alleviate hunger in Arkansas since 1982. The organization distributes more than 9 million pounds of food each year and has three main programs in place: Food For Kids, Food For Families and Food for Seniors. The Food For Kids Program was designed to provide food to children having problems in school due to hunger at home. By providing “kid friendly” foods and backpacks to the schools, these children are now able to feed themselves with full anonymity.

Arkansas Foodbank Announces Kid Café Schedule

Arkansas Foodbank Announces Kid Café Schedule

 The Arkansas Foodbank today announced its continuing sponsorship of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Afterschool Feeding Program.  The Foodbank will sponsor several Kids Café sites for the 2015-2016 school year throughout their 33-county service area in Central and Southern Arkansas.  The Kids Café program provides free snacks and meals to low-income children through a variety of community locations where children already congregate after school.  Last school year, the Arkansas Foodbank distributed 100,380 pounds of food to its Kid Café sites. In the Foodbank’s service area, more than 90,000 children face food insecurity.

If you’re interested in getting an afterschool meal site in your community, contact the Foodbank’s Children Services Coordinator Cathrine Schwader at 501-569-4327.

Arkansas Foodbank 2015-16 Kids Café Sites:
(Name/Address/Dates of Operation)

 Camden Housing – Lincoln Center
600 Lincoln Center
Camden, AR 71701
Mon – Thurs during the school year

Harvest Fellowship
9010 Hilaro Springs Rd.
Little Rock, AR 72209
Mon – Fri during the school year

Paul Bewie Boys & Girls Club
5050 Hwy 7 North
Hot Springs Village, AR 71909
Mon – Fri during the school year

Phoenix Youth and Family – Crossett
110 N. Alabama St.
Crossett, AR 71635
Mon – Thurs during the school year

Phoenix Youth and Family – Dumas
112 S. Main St.
Dumas, AR 71639
Mon - Wed during the school year

Promiseland Ministries
4520 S. University Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72209
Mon – Fri during the school year

Boys & Girls Club of Ashley Co.
1202 Main St.
Crossett, AR 71635
Mon – Fri during the school year

Boys & Girls Club of Drew Co.
175 Henley Dr.
Monticello, AR 71657
Mon – Fri during the school year

Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson Co.
2701 Short Reeker
Pine Bluff, AR 71601
Mon – Fri during the school year

Boys & Girls Club of McGehee
205 N. Washington
McGehee, AR 71654
Mon – Fri during the school year

Camden Housing – Carver Courts
600 Carver Courts
Camden, AR 71701
Mon – Thurs during the school year

Camden Housing – Ft. Lookout
1000 Ft. Lookout Dr.
Camden, AR 71701
Mon – Thurs during the school year

Camden Housing – Ivory Heights
4100 Ivory Heights
Camden, AR 71701
Mon – Thurs during the school year

September is Hunger Action Month™

Throughout the month of September, the Arkansas Foodbank, a member of the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, will observe Hunger Action Month (HAM) – a nationwide initiative designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. Hunger advocates from Arkansas and across the country are working together this September to shine a light on the issue of hunger and the 49 million people who face hunger in America – including one-in-five in Arkansas, as well as one-in-four seniors and children in our state facing food insecurity.


The goal of Hunger Action Month™ is to mobilize the public to act on behalf of Feeding America and our food bank network. It is our opportunity to create a movement that has a real and lasting impact on our mission to help end hunger in America. This September, join Feeding America and the Arkansas Foodbank in the fight to end hunger. As individuals, charities, businesses and government, we all have a role to play in getting food to those in need.

Signature Events

September 3: Hunger Action Day. Turn ORANGE and help spread awareness of hunger relief! The River Bridges, the Arkansas State Capitol and the Courthouse Fountain will be illuminated orange in support of the fight against hunger. You too can wear orange to show support in your community.  Also:

  • Enjoy a signature orange drink and meal at Big Orange restaurants in Little Rock. Proceeds benefit the Arkansas Foodbank.
  • The Foodbank will be hosting a Table Talk Luncheon at the Foodbank’s headquarters from 12-1pm. CEO Rhonda Sanders will discuss the mission of the Foodbank, provide a tour of our facilities and will share how we are helping hungry Arkansans receive the food they desperately need. Please contact Whitney Wellborn, Major Gifs Officer, for more information on the Table Talk Luncheon at (501) 569-4319.

 September 26: Drive Away Hunger. This family-friendly and casual event is held on the grounds of the Arkansas Foodbank and features a BBQ dinner from Whole Hog Café as well as live entertainment from the B Flats. Come enjoy a silent auction, activities for kids and much more! The event will be from 5pm-8pm. Tickets can be purchased at Contact Debra Wood, Special Events Coordinator, at (501) 569-4329 for more information.

 Other Events in September:

  • September 19: Little Rocktoberfest Partners with the Arkansas Foodbank. Come to the Arkansas State Fairgrounds from 6-9pm and enjoy beverages and food from a variety of vendors at Arkansas’s largest beer festival. The event will be hosted by Central Arkansas Fermenters and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Arkansas Foodbank. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the State Fairgrounds on the day of the event.
  • September 19: Volunteer at the Foodbank.  Join us at the Foodbank from 9am-12pm and help box food for hungry Arkansans.  E-mail our volunteer coordinator at to sign up. Space is limited.
  • September 29: Planned Giving Workshop: Create a lasting impact for years to come at the Foodbank by joining the Legacy of Hope. Planned giving allows you to continue to support hunger relief for years to come. The Planned Giving Workshop, held from 5:30-6:30pm in the Arkansas Foodbank’s Community Room, will provide detailed information on planned giving and how you can create a better future for thousands of Arkansans.  Please RSVP.


Feeding America and the Arkansas Foodbank will be participating in the new Spoontember™ online initiative. To get involved, share a ‘spoon selfie’ or video of yourself balancing a spoon on your nose, and challenge friends and family to join you in spreading awareness of the 584,000 Arkansans who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Please share your ‘spoon selfie’ on social media and change your profile picture to raise awareness of hunger relief throughout the month of September. Please use the hashtags #spoontember and #hungeractionmonth when posting on any of our social media accounts.

Check out the HAM Calendar for more Ideas!

Trent Roberts: Faces of Hunger Relief

“Gardening is my gift to the Foodbank”

Our next “Face of Hunger Relief” is Arkansas Foodbank Board Member, Trent Roberts. Since the Foodbank’s founding, Roberts has served as a board member and gives his time to help alleviate hunger in Arkansas. We had the privilege of speaking with him this week to find out why he believes hunger relief is such an important issue to solve. 

Roberts holds a Master’s in Agricultural Economics from the University of Arkansas, which led him to a job with the Industrial Development Commission, now the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. He became affiliated with Tom “Smitty” Smith, the former development director of Second Harvest, now known as Feeding America. Smith played a major role in the development of food banks across the southern United States.

After attending meetings with the Arkansas Hunger Task Force, Roberts and other like-minded individuals created a food bank to help those affected by hunger.

I’ve always been involved in Agriculture and hunger is a curable problem. Everyone needs to eat.

He has served on the board, including time as board president, since the Arkansas Foodbank began and has seen an ample amount of growth in its 30 year history. 

“The professionalism of the staff and the donation from Donald W. Reynolds Foundation has allowed the Arkansas Foodbank to grow. Joining Feeding America boosted the organization as well.” 

Roberts notes that an involved board and good leadership have continued the Arkansas Foodbank’s growth into the cornerstone of hunger relief that it is today. 

Roberts retired from his career in 2011 and felt the need to give back. A garden was built on the grounds of the Foodbank and the produce is distributed to member agencies, staff, board members and others. The garden was a project Roberts started and he oversees it to this day. Gardening is way Roberts donates his time to alleviate hunger in Arkansas. 

Working in the garden is something I enjoy. Gardening is my gift to the Foodbank.

It’s also allows me to work in the day-to-day operations of the organization. I want to be available to work and gardening allows me to do that. It gives me a reason to serve. The volunteers who assist me in the garden are great.”

Being involved with the Foodbank for over 30 years comes with a fair share of memories that have impacted Roberts’s life. 

“Our garden is a demonstration and an inspiration. It’s not going to solve the problem of hunger because it’s just not big enough. I remember one lady coming to the garden who received some vegetables. She mentioned an elderly person crying after she was given some squash grown at the Foodbank’s garden. It was beyond her capacity to buy fresh produce. This moment helped me realize the work we are doing is important.”

The Arkansas Foodbank is grateful to have board members who spend their time helping Arkansans affected by hunger. Simple acts of service can make a huge difference in the life of a person struggling to provide food for their families. Because of his service at the Foodbank, we are able to give back to those who need a helping hand. Thank you for helping the Arkansas Foodbank create communities where no one has to go hungry. 

Welcome to the New Website

Welcome to the Arkansas Foodbank’s new website! 

For over 30 years, The Arkansas Foodbank has been the cornerstone of hunger relief in our state. Our new website is designed to be a better tool in the work to end hunger. Please take a look at our website to learn more about the work we do and how you can help those in need. Join us as we seek to help Arkansans suffering from hunger.   

The site is broken down into four areas

I Need Food – The Arkansas Foodbank partners with over 300 member agencies to provide assistance to those in need. If you need more information on how to receive food assistance from the Arkansas Foodbank’s 300 member agencies, please see the “I Need Food” area of the website to find a member agency near you.

Member Agencies – Arkansas Foodbank member agencies are on-the-ground food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters that provide direct services in their communities. We also partner with schools, college campuses, afterschool programs, and senior centers. This area of the website provides detailed information for member agencies from how to place an order to training and meetings. If you would like to become a member agency or need more information on children or senior services, take a look at this area of the website. 

Help Fight Hunger – Arkansas ranks as one of the highest in the nation for food insecurity. From packaging food to monetary donations, your time and support help us fight hunger in Arkansas.

Over 280,000 people receive food from the Arkansas Foodbank each year. Last year, we distributed over 22 million pounds of food to those in need. We can’t serve those suffering from hunger without your help! If you would like to volunteer, donate, or want more information on how you can help Arkansans in need, please see the “Help Fight Hunger” area of the website. 

About Us – It has been our vision is to create communities where no one has to go hungry since 1984. 

We acquire and distribute, through local and national partnerships, large quantities of food and other resources to hungry people. For more information on the work we do and how you can contact us, please visit this area of the website.  

Drive Away Hunger Announcement

Tyler Lindsey, Communications Director
w. 501-569-4318


Family Fun at Second Annual “Drive Away Hunger”

Enjoy BBQ and local craft beers while enjoying live entertainment and games for the kids!


DAH Tire Logo and Tread.jpg

What: Drive Away Hunger, the Arkansas Foodbank’s newest fundraiser

When: Saturday, September 26th from 5pm-8pm

Where: Arkansas Foodbank, 4301 W. 65th Street in Little Rock

Why: The money raised from this year’s event will allow the Arkansas 

Foodbank to continue to support the 300 agencies in our 33 counties that provide food to those suffering from hunger.

“Drive Away Hunger” is the marquee event for September’s Hunger Action Month. It started as an event dedicated to bringing families to the Foodbank for not only a night of fun, but also to learn more about our mission and the critical issue of hunger in Arkansas. 

Arkansas ranks as one of the worst states in the nation for food insecurity. 20 percent of Arkansans do not know where their next meal is coming from. This means ONE in FIVE Arkansans lacks enough money to secure adequate nutrition. Furthermore, children and seniors have an even higher food insecurity rate at ONE in FOUR. For these individuals, hope is a hot meal, a bag of groceries, a well-nourished child. Join us as we seek to end hunger in Arkansas. Help us FEED HOPE in 2015. 

This year’s event will feature a barbeque dinner from Whole Hog Café and beer tastings from Flyway Brewing Company, Arkansas Fermenters, Vino's, Stone's Throw, Arkansas Craft Distributors and Golden Eagle of Arkansas. Loblolly Creamery will serve special ice cream for Hunger Action Month.

There will be activities for the whole family to enjoy

  • Silent auction 
  • Giant slide and bounce house
  • Face painting
  • The Innovation Hub in NLR
  • Wolfe at the Door Puppets
  • SkyLab Planetarium
  • “Hop on a Truck” with a Foodbank driver
  • Children’s games and activities
  • “Swag Bag” of promotional items for the first 100 people

Tickets are $30 for adults and children under 10 are free. Dinner and two drink tickets are included with price of admission. Soft drinks and water will be provided at no extra cost. Entertainment will be provided by local talent, The B Flats. Tickets can be purchased online at 

For more information, contact Debra Wood at 501-569-4329

The Arkansas Foodbank, the largest food bank in Arkansas, is a member of Feeding America and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. Its warehouse in Little Rock and Warren serve approximately 300 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, schools, colleges, and other agencies that provide aid directly to hungry Arkansans. Last year, the Foodbank distributed more than 22 million pounds of food to agencies that help feed the hungry. For more information on how you can fight hunger, visit the Foodbank website at