JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Union Pacific Foundation awarded a five-thousand-dollar grant to the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas.
Director of Development for the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, Vicki Pillow said this money will help provide more food to more people by providing shelves.
"This money will be used throughout the twelve-county service area," Pillow said. "We have over 140 partner agencies. By having this shelving, those agencies will be able to store more food. If they can't store the food through refrigeration or shelving, it doesn't matter how much we have we can give them. They need to be able to store it so they can distribute it."
The Food Bank of NEA serves twelve counties in Region 8 and sees five thousand people at risk of hunger every week.
"Arkansas is consistently in the top five of states with the biggest rate of food insecurity," Pillow said. "This means we have the most people who aren't sure where they're going to be able to find a meal for their family that night."
Director of Public Affairs for the Union Pacific Railroad Brandon Morris said the Union Pacific Foundation has been helping where they can for some time now.
"The Union Pacific Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Union Pacific Railroad," Morris said. "The Foundation provides community-based grants to organizations in our operating territory. For example, for the past five years here in Northeast Arkansas, Union Pacific has provided seventy-five thousand dollars in grants to organizations here in Craighead County, Poinsett County and even Crittenden County."
Morris said providing the food bank with a grant just made sense.
"Union Pacific has a large operating footprint here in Northeast Arkansas," Morris said. "The food bank has a large footprint serving many counties throughout the area. So, we like to partner with agencies that we feel are doing the most good for the most people in the region. Union Pacific is dedicated to providing philanthropic support to communities where our employees live and work."
Pillow said that Arkansas has stayed in the top five states for food insecurity for years now.
"Arkansas consistently has a big number," Pillow said. "Sometimes will make a little bit of an end road and then we'll turn around and have more in need. We just stay at a high capacity."
Pillow said chances are you know someone whose going hungry and are unaware of it.
"Think about going into an auditorium full of people for any event," Pillow said. "Think about one in five Arkansans struggling with hunger. In that room that you are in, there are people struggling with hunger that you're just not aware of."
Every one dollar donated to the food bank provides five meals to a family in need.
If you would like to be a part of the fight against hunger, contact the food bank at (870) 932-3663 or (870) 932-FOOD.
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