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.