JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Kum and Go gas stations are doing more than filling up cars at the pump.
They're feeding the children in Region 8.
Kum and Go recently awarded a $3,000 grant to the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas.
Those funds will be used to purchase food for the Food Bank's Backpack Program.
Kristie Bell of Kum and Go said helping communities isn't new to the Kum and Go Corporation.
"We have a rich sense of philanthropy and helping others at Kum and Go," Bell said. "We give grants on a quarterly basis to communities where we have stores."
Bell said she was thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of helping kids in need.
"We're thrilled to be able to help the children of Northeast Arkansas through this program," Bell said. "I love being a part of an organization that is able to give these kinds of contributions and make a difference."
The Food Bank's Backpack Program works to meet the needs of hungry children by providing them with nutritious and easy to prepare foods they can take home with them on the weekends and holidays from school.
Once a child becomes part of the Backpack Program, they stay on it until the need is no longer there.
CEO of the Food Bank Christie Jordan said they currently serve 1,203 students in 40 schools in Northeast Arkansas.
"Research shows that children who experience hunger face significant stress and challenges that can have a lasting effect on their physical, cognitive and behavioral development," Jordan said. "We are very grateful for the support we received through Kum and Go. This grant will help us provide food to children at risk of hunger."
But the problem doesn't end with the children currently in the Backpack Program.
Director of Development with the Food Bank Vicki Pillow said there are still 20,340 children in Northeast Arkansas who are food insecure.
Meaning these kids don't know where their next meal is coming from.
Pillow said the donation from Kum and Go couldn't have come at a better time as they are working to fill their empty shelves for the program now.
Bell said this isn't the only way Kum and Go helps out in their communities.
"Two years, we started a food rescue program," Bell said. "Food that is good to eat but is passed when we want to keep it in warmers is donated to people in need. This is something we do with agency partners."
Kum and Go currently have 150 store locations in their 11-state area that are participating in the food rescue program.
Bell said the Kum and Go Corporation isn't stopping there.
They believe they'll have more than 200 by the end of the year and are looking to do even more.
"We are looking to add more and more agency partners," Bell said. "So, we can do more in the communities we're in."
For more information about the Food Bank of NEA, click here.
For more information about the Kum and Go Corporation and the work they do, click here.