Rhonda Sanders Named CEO of Arkansas Foodbank

Rhonda Sanders, a former executive director of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, has been named CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank, the largest nongovernment source of food aid for the hungry in Arkansas.

Sanders replaces Phyllis Haynes, who joined the Foodbank in 1999 and is retiring. At the Foodbank, Haynes oversaw construction and startup of the new Donald W. Reynolds Distribution Center, a new food distribution warehouse to serve the hungry.

"We aim to continue the strong performance of the Foodbank in helping the hungry, and to build on the foundation that has been laid and to increase aid to the hungry in these trying economic times," Sander said.

"Hunger affects education, jobs, workforce readiness, the economy -- there are so many issues that have their roots in hunger, and the Foodbank has an important role to play in addressing the issue."

During Sanders' four years as executive director of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, the group merged with the Arkansas Hunger Coalition to form a single statewide organization with more than 100 member organizations across the state, including the Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas's other five Feeding America food banks.

Before that, Sanders worked for 14 years at Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families, where she served as director of health policy and legislative affairs. 

Since 2012, Sanders has been the director of the Arkansas Home Visiting Network at Arkansas Children's Hospital, where she has worked to develop and expand a statewide network of preschool home visiting programs.