Not only is hunger unacceptable, but hunger hurts! Of course, we all know about hunger pains — they certainly hurt. But when people go hungry because their rent, utilities, medicine and even car expenses must come first, hunger also takes a physical and emotional toll. Hunger even has an economic impact as inconsistent food intake affects productivity, absenteeism and punctuality.
At the River Valley Regional Food Bank, we are driven by our core beliefs that hunger is unacceptable, that everyone deserves access to enough food, that food sustains life and nourishes health, and that we are called to serve neighbors in need without judgement.
The food bank had a humble beginning. Back in June 1986, the Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council recognized a need for a food bank to assist local hunger relief agencies. Steady growth continued until the recession of 2008 hit the area hard. Skyrocketing need was met a passionate response as the food bank grew to become a 15.5 million pounds food provider.
The food bank serves eight counties in West Central Arkansas, where more than 307,000 people reside. We source the most nutritious foods we can find and provide that food to about 94,000 people in the area. A total of more-than-180 member agencies create a far-reaching network of food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, churches and nonprofit groups that get food to people in need of assistance.