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.