Community Impact Award
Since its founding in 1984, the Arkansas Foodbank has grown to establish 422 local partnerships in 33 counties in an effort to reach those in need of food. The state ranks second in the nation for food insecurity with one in five Arkansans struggling to provide enough food for their family.
Director of Communications Emily Gassman said, “We provide food that can be used to prepare meals as a household or in a soup kitchen. Through a year-round granting process, we provide funding to help purchase needed equipment to local partners for storing and distributing food. We also provide nutrition education tools that can be used to help increase the nutritional value of their meals as well as stretch their food budgets.”
Last year, Arkansas Foodbank distributed 29.5 million pounds of food and provided 25.2 million meals to Arkansans. It has a warehouse and distribution center in Little Rock as well as a branch in Warren.
“We generally serve about 280,000 Arkansans annually,” Gassman said. “Since March 13, 2020, the Arkansas Foodbank has distributed an additional 2 million pounds of food in over 50,000 food boxes and at special distributions due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to Gassman, the Arkansas Foodbank expanded its direct distributions and partnerships at the beginning of the pandemic. Furthermore, the foodbank developed technology to allow individuals to look up food pantries closest to them and their hours of operation.
“The Arkansas Foodbank is constantly evaluating and evolving in order to meet the needs of hungry people wherever they are,” she said.