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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Arkansas Rice Depot, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Disaster Aid, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief, Youth Development

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

Programs: Distribution of usda commodities and donated food items to individuals through humanitarian organizations

distribution of usda commodities and donated food items to individuals

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a leader of a 7th grade bible study group. This is now our second year before Christmas to come serve together as a group. Both experiences were great. The Rice Depot staff found tasks they could complete that they enjoyed doing. And the girls felt like they were doing something that mattered. The staff stayed in evening hours to make this possible as well. Another thing I appreciated was the description of the programs. Most of these girls haven't been close to being in need and so it is an eye opener for them to realize that people nearby have basic needs. It makes me thankful that the Rice Depot works to fill real needs in the community and provides outlets for people of all ages to serve in.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our organization has volunteered on various Rice Depot projects over the years and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff make it very easy!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with volunteering at the Arkansas Rice Depot was very rewarding. This was my second time volunteering. I work in the downtown area of Little Rock and often see the homeless individuals. It's heartbreaking to see my fellow brothers and sisters out in the cold with nothing to eat. Our Youth Dept at my church, New Creation Bapt Church, was looking for a way to help out. After seeing an article in the newspaper about volunteers at the Arkansas Rice Depot, I thought this would be good for our youth. We took about 10 youth and their parents one Sat. and rolled our sleeves up and got to work. Our kids were so excited to be helping, I don't think they wanted to go home. The Arkansas Rice Depot also has a Backpack Program for hungry children in the Arkansas schools and I can't wait to be a part of that also. Please endorse the Arkansas Rice Depot and help feed more hungry! Thanks

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

10

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!