Food Bank receives large donation

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas received an enormous donation on Wednesday.

A truck from Land O'Lakes, Inc. pulled up to deliver 40, 000 pounds of cheese to the organization.

Executive Director of the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, Christie Jordan, says dairy donations are rare.

"To be able to provide families with an item like American Cheese," Jordan said. "They're going to be so grateful. This is an item we couldn't afford to buy and so many of the people that we serve can't afford to put food on their table, much less select nutritious items for their family."

This donation was made possible through the First Run program, which is a part of Land O'Lakes Feeding Our Communities initiative.

Senator Bruce Holland is a member of the Governor's Council of Land O'Lakes.

Holland was one of the representatives at the Food Bank, there, to watch the delivery come in.

Also there was Congressman Rick Crawford, Land O'Lakes representatives and community members.

Holland says Land O'Lakes has been donating food to communities for several years.

"I believe they've given over ten million pounds of food over the last few years to food banks," Holland said. "It's something that they do across the nation every year."

And how was the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas targeted as their next donation?

Holland says it had to do with Region 8's very own Congressman Rick Crawford.

"Land O'Lakes has been very impressed with Congressman Crawford's work on the ag committee," Holland said. "They wanted to do something in his district to show their appreciation. And so, that's where this got started and why we're here today."

Congressman Rick Crawford says he's just excited for the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas and the people they work to help.

"I think what they're doing here is just showing a great deal of generosity for the folks here in Northeast Arkansas in this 12 county area that the Food Bank serves," Crawford said. "I just can't say thank you enough to Land O'Lakes for what they've done and we're working with them at every opportunity. They're doing things to help in this economy. You know, folks need help and they recognize that."

Jordan says they are all very grateful to Land O'Lakes and are already working on distributing their donation to area food pantries.

"It's not going to take us very many days to distribute this," Jordan said. "That's the sad part of it. While 40, 000 pounds of cheese is a lot it will be gone before we know it. And that's just the sad reality of what we do. So many people are struggling."

Crawford agreed with Jordan and says his office is doing everything it can to relieve the situation.

"The Food Bank does wonderful work serving this twelve county area in Northeast Arkansas," Crawford said. "We're working very hard to try and address those issues that working families face. Issues like job creation and gas prices. And that's certainly something that hits everybody in the pocketbook right now. I don't care who you are or where you work. That hurts and we're doing everything we can to stop it."

For additional information about the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, log onto this website.

For more information about Land O'Lakes, click this site and to contact Congressman Crawford's office, click on this website.

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