Monumental donation to Region 8 food bank feeds hundreds

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas received a phone call last week that will change the lives of residents throughout Northeast Arkansas.

A representative of Tyson Foods called the Food Bank and spoke with Executive Director, Christie Jordan.

They called to see if they'd be interested in a donation. . .thirty-two thousand pounds of chicken.

Christie says considering how badly they need the additional food, she was thrilled to get the news.

"We are always struggling to provide nutritious foods for our agencies and to have a donor call us and tell us that they have an entire truck load of protein that they want to donate to us is just phenomenal. I was so excited. I couldn't wait to get off the phone and tell our staff and start making arrangements so we could find the freezer storage we needed and to get it ready to be distributed to our agencies."

The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas works to eliminate hunger by distributing food through a network of non-profit agencies and programs.

Then those agencies and programs serve families in need in twelve county areas of Northeast Arkansas.

Christie says it's people and organizations like Tyson that make the help they strive to give possible.

"We're only able to do the work that we do through the generosity of others and to have a partner in hunger relief like Tyson Foods is phenomenal."

Christie also says the food is coming just in the nick of time!

"As the holidays are upon us, we are already gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas and this is really going to help us go the extra mile this season and we're just really blessed to receive this donation. We have been incredibly busy this year. We have seen around a fifteen percent increase in the requests for food donations and we anticipate, as always, with the holiday season that that is going to increase. And so, this year as fast as we've been able to get food donations in, they have gone out the door. Last year we set a record distribution of two point one million pounds of food and I think we are really on target to distribute more than that in the year 2010."

But Tyson's generosity has not been limited to Northeast Arkansas.

Chrisite says all the food banks that are affiliated with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and Feeding America will be receiving food donations from Tyson.

"They are a generous partner. They have done a lot to help us in the fight against hunger, not only us here in Northeast Arkansas but throughout the state of Arkansas."

Now, while this donation was a big help, the fights no where near over!

Christie says the food bank does not have a regular donor who donates canned goods, making this something they are always in need of.

For those who are interested in giving, they specifically need canned fruits, vegetables and meats.

Those "shelf stable" items that will help them round out the holiday boxes they are working to put together.

"Anything you would use in your house to cook a meal for your family, we can use here at the food bank."

The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas serves fifty-one hundred people each week throughout Region 8.

For more information about the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, you can call 870-932-FOOD or you can log onto their website.