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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EIN 71-0574819
501-565-8855
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Rice Depot is one of the most effective and focused organizations focused on ending hunger that I have been a part of. They are excellent at ensuring that everything they do is a step toward accomplishing that goal.

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

Arkansas?

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

like to see it get more exposure and publicity.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This is a great organization that helping feed the children and families who are in need. The backpack for kids program is incredible!

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

seeing first hand the food being distributed those in need.

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

give them a bigger budget and more volunteers.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have delivered food to needy senior citizens for Rice Depot since 2004.
The people really appreciate the food, hugs, and concern shown for them. They are very grateful, and it is a very satisfying volunteer job.

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

seeing the need and appreciation of the people who receive the food.

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

have no suggestions. Rice Depot is well organized and makes it easy for the volunteers.

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Arkansas Rice Depot is the non-profit that is making the most difference in Arkansas in solving our hunger problem. Arkansas has the highest rate of child hunger in the nation. The are answering this need with the Food For Kids Backpack Program. It's a simple solution - give a child a backpack with a kid-friendly meal to take home after school each day and on the weekends. Hungry children can't learn. They act out in class. They get sick and miss school. Teachers see a great improvement in both behavior and grades when kids are enrolled in the FFK program. 98% of the money donated to the Depot goes to feed people - whether it be the Food for Kids Program, Food For Families, Food for Seniors, food pantries, or disaster relief. The Depot is accomplishing the most good with their resources. I'm honored to be a part of their program.

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

I've taken people to the Depot to pick up food when they didn't have enough - or had none. They were very grateful that someone cared. I've given out Christmas and Thanksgiving boxes to the needy who quietly stood in a long line and thanked us profusely for their holiday food. I've seen people come by who had no food to feed their pets. They cried because they'd be able to provide for their pet and not have to give it up.

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

I wouldn't change the organization. It has the leadership and the volunteer base that make it work!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I always meet new friends who have big hearts.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I always leave the Rice Depot knowing that I have made a difference.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I have found the Arkansas Rice Depot to be a great place to volunteer. It is very rewarding to work with such compassionate people and especially rewarding to know that many others are being helped by the workers at the Depot.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the Christian compassion that is evident among the staff and volunteers. I have been very warmly welcomed into the Rice Depot family.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I have been a supporter of the Arkansas Rice Depot since the mid 1980's. When I worked for a company in Stuttgart we donated obsolete cartons to the Rice Depot. Since retiring and moving to Hot Springs Village I have been volunteering at the Rice Depot for several years. This is a great organization and has helped many schools and food pantries all over the state. I am very aware of the help they have provided in the Hot Springs, Garland County area. I volunteer through Christ Of The Hills United Methodist Church mens group. The Rice Depot has helped us supply food items to the needy families in the Jesseiville, Mountain Pine area. Laura Rhea and the rest of the staff at the Rice Depot have helped with items for several Habitat Home dedications in Hot Springs of the past year. I am very proud to be associated with an organization like the Arkansas Rice Depot that helps so many people in need.

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

Helping feed the hungry in the Garland County/Hot Springs area. I have personally been involve with the Arkansas Rice Depot in supplying food and other items to a Grandmother and two of her Grand Children she has custody of.

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

Try to help them secure more transportaion to support their back pack delivery program.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

How they reach out to so many different organizations that help people in need.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Very warm and caring idividuals.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

It could reach out to more schools and support their back pack programs.

Ways to make it better...

My experience would have only been better if I would have started volunteering there several years before I did.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Securing enough donations and food items to reach out to more of the needy areas of the state.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Laura Rhea and her staff accomplish so much with the time and resources they have available. I am so thankfull to be able to work with such caring and faith based organization

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I enjoyed volunteering at the Arkansas Rice Depot, Inc. One thing that is wonderful about volunteering with this organization is that you can bring a group of all ages, and everyone can be involved on the same project. It unifies your group and crosses age boundaries. Our group not only volunteered, but also received a tour of the facility to educate us more on the mission and services of the Arkansas Rice Depot. We were treated warmly by the staff and not rushed through. I believe our group definitely has plans to go back and volunteer here again.

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

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

warm and welcoming. They did not just rush our group in and out. Although I think they had other groups coming in, they still took time to give our group a tour of the facility after we volunteered.

Ways to make it better...

The staff checked in a little more frequently during our work to see if we had questions about our assignment.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I have been involved with this organization for several years and the work that they do providing food for the hungry students in Arkansas is amazing. They work on a shoe-string budget and manage to serve multitudes who would otherwise go home hungry from school each day. Our county suffered terribly from the ice storm in January of 2009 and Rice Depot provided emergency supplies for families who were without essentials during the weeks without electricity and water. The ways Rice Depot reaches out to meet the needs of all Arkansans are so numerous they can't all be listed but our state is blessed to have this organization working for the least and the underprivileged.

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

watching our students who have so little to go home to thrive when they take their backpacks of food...they feel a sense of love and care with the backpacks. Rice Depot allows us to provide these backpacks.

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

provide more funds for employees to help with paperwork, etc.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the dedication of Laura Rhea and Allison Stroud. They have been the constants in the many years I've been associated with Rice Depot.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

positive and never wavering in their commitment to caring for the needs of the people of Arkansas regardless of the situation.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

better meet the needs of those it serves at present.

Ways to make it better...

I lived closer so I could be of more service to Rice Depot.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

keeping up with the demands of the needy in Arkansas.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I HAVE BEEN THE VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR FOR OUR UNITED METHODIST MEN'S GROUP AT THE ARKANSAS RICE DEPOT FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS. WHAT A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE THE DEPOT MAKES IN THE LIVES OF ARKANSAS HUNGRY. BOTH THE BACKPACK AND SHELTER PROGRAMS TOUCH TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ALL AT NO COST TO THOSE RECEIVING.THE ORGARIZATION IS WELL RUN AND TRULY FILLED WITH A SPIRIT OF SERVICE.

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

BY SEEING THE IMPACT THE BACKPACK PROGRAM HAS ON HUNGRY KIDS. ALSO BY WORKING WITH ONE OF THE AGENCIES THAT RECEIVES FOOD FROM THE DEPOT.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I HAVE DONE A GOOD BIT OF VOLUNTEERING AND HAVE SEEN HOW OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WORK.THE DEPOT IS THE ONLY ONE THAT I HAVE NEVER HEARD A NEGATIVE COMMENT ABOUT.IT HAS BEEN A GREAT WAY FOR OUR MEN'S GROUP TO UNITE AROUND A PROJECT.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

THESE RICE DEPOT STAFF IS VERY DEDICATED AND DOES A GOOD JOB WITH LIMITED RESOURCES.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

GOOD QUESTION. THE DEPOT DEPENDS A LOT ON BULK DONATIONS OF GOODS AND FROM TIME TO TIME IS OUT OF CERTAIN ITEMS. THIS WOULD ENSURE A STEADY SUPPLY. WOULD ALSO PERMIT A BETTER DISTRIBUTION NETWORK .

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I have helped in the warehouse about once a year for most of 2000 to 2009. I aslo have sold the Rice Depot Simple Pleasure gifts. Our folks love to use them and give them as gifts at Chirstmastime. The faith shown by the hard working and innovative folks at Rice Depot is heart warming to say the least. I am so proud of all they accomplish for hungry Arkansans.

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

the Children's Back Pack program. I am thankful some needy children in Bentonville have foods for the weekend.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Sharing in their devotion to meeting hunger needs in our state in 600+ locations.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Enthusiastic Tireless Energetic Most helpful Eager to teach Appreciative of all our puny efforts

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Increase their serving of the people of AR and send their innovative ideas across the nation!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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