Arkansas Rice Depot, Inc.

Rating: 4.87 stars   47 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Disaster Aid, Food

Location: 3801 West 65th Street Little Rock AR 72209 USA

Mission: Arkansas Rice Depot is the oldest and only statewide foodbank in Arkansas.  Founded in 1982 by the Arkansas Interfaith Hunger Task Force, our name comes from the fact that Arkansas-grown rice was the first food distributed.  We haven’t changed the name, but now we give out all kinds of foods through a variety of innoviative programs.  Arkansas is one of the hungriest states in the nation; but thanks to Arkansas Rice Depot, over 65 million pounds of food has been distributed in Arkansas in the past 25 years.  Hunger still affects families, children, and the elderly in Arkansas, so our work, and our need for support continues.
Results: Last year, Arkansas Rice Depot programs served 13% of the population of Arkansas.  Through our Food For Families program we provide almost 7 million pounds of food each year to over 300 church and community hunger agencies across Arkansas.  Last year we helped feed 349,000 individuals.  Our Food For Seniors program enables volunteers to deliver 50 pounds of food and household items monthly to homebound senior in Pulaski, Saline, and Faulkner Counties who face hunger.  We serve over 25,000 children through our Food For Kids program, providing backpacks filled with kid friendly foods, personal care items and much more that is sent home with students facing hunger. We currently serve over 600 schools in the state.  Arkansas Rice Depot’s Disaster Relief program immediately activates, providing emergency relief through our food pantry partners, public schools, direct disaster service events, and even door to door if necessary. Our emergency relief efforts continue in a community as long as needed.
Geographic areas served: Arkansas

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I love Rice Depot! They serve such a need in our community! I began 3 years ago in my current position as school counselor at a rural school in Arkansas and slowly started getting the word out to kids and families in crisis about some food available on weekends through their backpack program. Now, with the support of the Rice Depot and now involved local community members, I am now feeding over 50 kids on the weekends plus a snack during the day at recess. So many kids in AR are hungry and Rice Depot offers a tremendous service to meet that need! Thank you for all your hard work!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our church, Wesley United Methodists in Conway, AR has served the community for over 15 years with a food pantry. Almost from the beginning we have been associated with and depend on the Arkansas Food Bank to supply the bulk of donated food we provide to persons in need. We have served thousands of families averaging 3.5 persons each. Totaling the numbers is not possible but we have had an effect on thousands of persons lives. For the most part persons we help will come to us a few weeks or months and then become self sufficient. But there are some who have needed help for years, such as those disabled and unable to work or those with a serious illness and without funds. It has been my privilige to volunteer in this effort for the last 8 years since I came to this church and have had a close association with the rice depot. I have observed their efforts in helping persons throughout the state and am pleased with all those involved from the volunteers to the director. Ken

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have watched the food pantry grow from serving a few families a month to over 300 families. Although mostly limited to help in our county we do not turn anyone away. On occasion there have been families traveling from far distances we have been able to help.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change the way it srves.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Food for Kids has definitely been a blessing to our students. The children have been complaining less about stomach aches and headaches. I decided to place some students in this program when a teacher caught a student taking crackers out of the lunchroom and putting them in his pocket. When asked why he was doing that, he stated, "My mama is hungry." I knew then something had to be done. The students now have a smile on their faces and seem to walk a little lighter thanks to Food for Kids.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization when I see smiles on our students' faces!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

At the moment I wouldn't make any changes to this organization. Thank you!!!

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Rating: 4 stars  

I am the director of Hope Food Pantry in Hot Springs. When I started in 2006 we served four or five families per month, by mid 2007 we had increased to 35 families per month but we ran out of food each month. In November of 2007 I applied to Ark Rice Depot for assistance and was approved in April 2008 and began receiving food. We served over 200 families, in 2009 we served 763 families and in 2010 we assisted 1397 households. Our Church is VERY small, there is no way we could have fed that many families without the assistance from the Rice Depot. We pay almost nothing for the food and they have been very generoul with their help to us. We look forward to helping even more in 2011

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When we have run out of food The Rice Depot has sent us extra food to help us feed the heavy flow of families.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to find ways to find more money to stock their shelves with food

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Rating: 5 stars  

We operate a food pantry in Montgomery County AR and have done so for 4+ years. We couldn't remain open without AR Rice Depot's support. Their organization is professional and highly respected in the community. They have been able to provide services and opportunities that no other food bank in the state has been able to do. We are greatful for all that they do.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my interaction with them once a month when we pickup food including USDA foods. The personnel that run ARD are exceptional from Laura Rhea to Thomas in the warehouse.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a way to get them more food

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Rating: 5 stars  

I would like to say that the Rice Depot Program, has helped alot, and still giving to needy families in this Area. I have volunteer for several years,and its a God send for students. thanks for all you do.When I ask them for other items that the student ask for, and they ask no questions.and provide it to me .
thanks for the caring,Linda

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

going in the home and seeing the results it has giving to the families.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change a thing, your program is wonderful.

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Rating: 4 stars  

I thank God for the Arkansas Rice Depot. They have blessed a lot of families over the years. We serve about 125 families a month. The community that is being served by Willie O. Thomas Food Pantry is below the poverty line. Because of this, parents and other guardians have very limited resources for providing food to their families. There is 90% of children receiving free or reduce lunch in our area.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

It is a joy seeing so many happy faces.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I do not see the need for any changes. The organization is doing a wonderful job.

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Rating: 4 stars  

For the past several years I have served as a School Counselor, which has so many hidden challenges it would be hard to be fully prepared for the demands of the "job". At a professional development early in my career, I learned of the Arkansas Rice Depot and it's ability to provdie school supplies to needy students/schools. Armed with the Art Therapy training that I viewed as a way to open up the door to communication with the struggling students, I sought the resources I was unable to purchase on my own, and that began a wonderful journey with the Arkansas Rice Depot. Through the past eight years, I have had the opportunity to meet so many needs that would have otherwise gone unanswered without these generous resources provided through donations and commitment from organizations and individuals throughout the state. Now when a student comes to me hungry, I can feed them at any time of the day. When a student's family can't afford to prepare them to return to school after the summer, I can provide the students with a brand new, stuffed backpack encouraging an excitement about the school experience. When a student comes to me worried about the family's lost income, or inability to have enough food for the month, I can invite them to come weekly to take a pre-packed bag of weekend supplies home to combat the fear of a long, hungry weekend away from school. We have even joined with churches in the community to fill the gaps that sometimes exist between what the Rice Depot has on hand, and what we need., making it a collaberative experience. This is such a God-send, and I know firsthand the relief and encouragement the students encounter because these resources are there..

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Mountainburg and Winslow School systems

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a way to help the various producers and trucking industries in Arkansas to work together to take the necessary supplies from the donator to the door of the Arkansas Rice Depot.

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Rating: 5 stars  

here At Polk county free store we help to feed over a 150 families a month and we wouldnt be able to do that without rice depot over 70 per cent of our food comes from them.
when we first opened rice depot was ther to help us learn the ropes and with food.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the differnce they make in peoples lifes they show you there is caring people left in this world and there is hope

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

nothing

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Searcy County Alternative School is located in a low economically poverty ridden part of the state. We depend on the Arkansas Rice Depot to help our students recieve food that they would not otherwise recieve. Arkansas Rice Depot has come through countless times for my school and students. When we were without water in our school for 5 days, Arkansas Rice Depot showed up with bottled water without me even calling them. The only response I got was we heard about it on the news and new you needed help. When we lost everything in my school from a fire, Arkansas Rice Depot showed up with desks, paper, pencils, supplies for students and teachers alike. I don't know what we would do without Arkansas Rice Depot supporting us and helping us throughout the year. My students lives are better, they are attending school on a regular basis, and they are more alert and in a better frame of mind because Arkansas Rice Depot is there to help them.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I personally experienced the results of this organization when my students come to school on a regular basis and recieve their backpack of food. I know they will have something to eat and feel better about theirselves.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not make any changes to this organization. They are truly appreciated and wonderful in their work for the needy in the state of Arkansas.

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