Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas
Category: Nonprofit Organization of the Year
Hungry people turn to the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas for help. The nonprofit organization based in Jonesboro is the primary source to collect, store and distribute food to more than 90 nonprofit agencies in 12 counties in northeast Arkansas.
“We provide emergency food to families in need through our network of nonprofit agency and programs,” said Christie Jordan, executive director of the Food Bank.
With seven full-time employees, three part-time workers and an army of about 470 volunteers, the Food Bank serves more than 5,000 people every week and 67,000 unduplicated individuals each year, Jordan said.
It distributed 3 million pounds of food in 2011, up from 2.6 million pounds in 2010.
Jordan said the agency was seeing more people now than in years past partly because of the sluggish economy and because more people were aware of the services that the food bank offers.
In addition to its network of food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters, the Food Bank also has a backpack program that serves 525 students during the school year and a food box program that provides an elderly person a box of food every other week for a year.
The Food Bank’s revenue varies from year to year based on the grants and donations it receives. It also receives food from food manufacturers.
The Food Bank, which last fall was a finalist for the Northeast Arkansas Business of the Year award in the nonprofit category, recently started construction on a 50,000-SF food bank warehouse to replace its 12,000-SF facility.
A $7.9 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation will help pay for the project. The warehouse should be completed late this year.