Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas seeks help

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas in Jonesboro is reaching out to the community it works to serve.

The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas serves 12 counties in the Northeast Arkansas area and currently has103 partner agencies within those counties.

Director of Development for the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, Vicki Pillow, says as big as that number sounds, it isn't enough.

"103 agencies sounds like a lot," Pillow said. "We cover 12 counties and serve 5,100 individuals at risk of hunger every week in Northeast Arkansas. So, we're always looking for additional partner agencies to be able to get more food to the communities where people need it."

Pillow says it's the partner agencies that get the food to the people in need.

"Our partner agencies are really a crucial link in the chain," Pillow said. "We act as the warehouse distribution facility. We get our food from Feeding America, locally and regionally. We bring it in here. We house it in our warehouse and we depend on our partner agencies to take it out to the communities. They give it to the individuals at risk of hunger. The individuals don't come to the food bank itself, they just cross town go to their own county and get the food just right close to where they are in their own home."

Pillow says there are a number of counties in the Region 8 area that just don't have enough agencies to get the food to the people in their area that need it.

"We can use agencies in all of our counties," Pillow said. "But we really need it especially in Lawrence, Randolph, Poinsett, Jackson and St. Francis counties. It can be churches, churches that have a soup kitchen or a pantry who are trying to get food out. Non profit programs like non profit daycares, non profit senior citizen centers, all sorts of non profit programs can be partnering agencies."

Pillow says without organizations stepping up to help, things aren't going to get any better.

"We have counties that really could use additional agencies," Pillow said. "To be able to partner with us and come get the food and take it back so that they will have more access. We might have some counties that just have a handful of agencies and if we just had 2 or 3 more that would be able to get food out there."

Any churches or non profit programs out there interested in finding out how to become an agency of the food bank can call at 870-932-FOOD or 870-932-3663.

For more information about the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, log onto their website.

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.