Disney grant helps area food bank

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Disney is making dreams come true for the hungry in Northeast Arkansas.

Vicki Pillow, the Director of Development for the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, said the Disney Company recently awarded them with a valuable grant.

"The Food Bank received a $15,000 grant from the Disney Company," Pillow said. "This money is going to provide fresh produce to individuals at risk of hunger in our 12-county service area."

Pillow said the money will help them provide fresh food to those who couldn't get it before.

"Fresh produce is so important," Pillow said. "We have so many individuals who come for temporary food assistance to our partner agencies and pantries and they tell us they love fresh produce, but they can't always afford to include that in their meals. So, this grant allows us to give them better access and have access more often to fresh fruits and vegetables to include in their meals."

Pillow said thousands will receive help now.

"This grant will allow us to acquire 80,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to give to families who are struggling. That's thousands of people who will have access to this food who wouldn't have had it before," Pillow said."

Pillow said they are seeing all kinds of different people in need.

"We provide emergency food assistance," Pillow said. "This is temporary food assistance to someone who doesn't know where their next meal is coming from. We have families with two parents both working minimum wage jobs who can't make ends meet. We have grandparents raising grandchildren. We even have people whose house may have burned down yesterday and they need emergency food assistance because they don't have anything the next day. So, we have many types of people who need emergency food assistance at different times."

Pillow said they are now going to be able to distribute cabbages, potatoes, tomatoes, apples and many other kinds of produce.

"The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas," Pillow said. "Distributes 110,000 meals every week in our 12-county service area."

Pillow says the state of Arkansas has the second highest rate of hunger in America.

She said only with everyone's help will that number begin to get lower.

"Everybody can help," Pillow said. "Because we work with Feeding America and our partner agencies, we can provide four meals for every one dollar that we receive to the food bank. So, somebody just giving a dollar makes sure that a family is going to eat that night."

If you would like to help or learn more about the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, call 932-3663 or 932-FOOD.

You can also log onto their website by clicking here.

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