Arkansas Rice Depot is a fine organization that serves so many hungry people in this state. If you had to pick just one nonprofit to support, I highly recommend this one. The staff, voliunteers, board members, all are dedicated to ending hunger in Arkansas. Please help us with a donation.
This charitable organization operates on a shoestring budget and the small team of dedicated staff members work tireless in their mission of ensuring no one in the state is hungry. Children, families, seniors and victims of disasters are perpetually served by this dedicated staff and scores of volunteers. I have personally given my time and money to help them in their mission, and am always humbled by their sincerity, integrity and faith in God, as they quietly serve the basic needs of others. Where there is hunger, there too is the Arkansas Rice Depot, serenely fulfilling God's direction.
Eliminating hunger across an entire state is a huge and daunting challenge. Few organizations and individuals would even attempt to take on this task. But Arkansas Rice Depot does, day in and day out. This tremendous statewide, faith-based food relief agency reaches out to thousands of hungry citizens each year with creative, proven and successful programs. There is such a need to feed the hungry and care for the forgotten and downtrodden, and Rice Depot fulfills that need. I have been involved in and supportive of Arkansas Rice Depot for more than 15 years. I am a member of the Board of Directors and past Board President. I have seen firsthand the work that this organization and its dedicated staff and volunteers do on a daily basis. They make a difference in the lives of those who are hurting.
My experience with Arkansas Rice Depot goes back to the mid-1980's. At that time I was a pastor serving a Presbyterian church in Bentonville, Arkansas. Our church had a food pantry and, discovering that the Arkansas Rice Depot would make high quality rice available to us free of charge, I began, each time I made a business trip to Little Rock, to load up my station wagon with rice, which we would then repackage in 3 pound sacks together with recipes provided by ARD for distribution to our clients. Later, as ARD expanded over the state, we picked up the rice, and later also beans, from a site in Ft. Smith. Now coverage has spread over the whole state, with ARD trucks delivering food to over 300 pantries statewide. My most recent experience with ARD is their "Food for Seniors" program. Through that program an 80 year old member of our church with virtually no family and living on $600 per month that has to cover his rent and all other living expenses has delivered to his home each fourth Saturday a huge box of food. It is quite literally "manna" from heaven for our friend, feeding him for several days and enabling him to have extra dollars with which to pay his utility bills. His financial squeeze is such that he heats only one room of his house during the cold of winter, so you can imagine what a blessing it is when he receives food that will feed him for a week!
I have been associated with the Arkansas Rice Depot for over two years. When you see the end result of their efforts to feed the hungry, it is a heart warming feeling. It's main focus is to provide food to children via a back pack, food that can be taken home, prepared and consumed with-out adult supervision which is the case for most of these children. Without this food, many of these children would go to bed hungry as most of the time, the only food they get to eat is their school lunches. As a result, children are not as sick as often and do have better grades in school as they do not have to worry whether they will have something to eat in the evening.
A friend of mine, who happens to be the chairman of the board of directors of Arkansas Rice Depot, asked me if I would like to join this board. I had heard of ARD but did not know much about the program until I became a board member. I have never known an organization so dedicated to its mission - to feed the hungry people of Arkansas. It just makes me feel good to know I can contribute my time and resources to such a worthy cause. Bravo ARD!