Friday, September 23, 2011

Food Friday

Last week I posted about the ferris wheel at WestEnd in our hometown having orange lights this month for hunger awareness. Well, we rode it last weekend while we were home in support of the cause and had SO much fun! I thought this would be my little foodie pic for this week. We are so fortunate to be able to fill the Fab 5's little bellies without a struggle. Samuel cracks me up in the photo....he looked mad on purpose. That was his pose. To be 13 again....ahhh.


This week I want to focus on my local food bank, since it is near and dear to my heart. I serve on the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas Development Council. It is rewarding to serve in this capacity and see the benefits of sharing the mission and passion of the food bank with the community.

Our food bank serves 84 agencies in northeast Arkansas. An agency can be a church panty, a senior citizens home, shelter, etc. These agencies come and buy or are given cases of food. Where we can purchase a box of cereal for $3, they can purchase a whole case for $3. This and local food drives make serving the hungry possible. If you were to see the building our food bank operates out of you would be amazed. It outgrew itself a long time ago and it is now time to move. Neighborhoods grew up all around it and getting trucks of food in and out is sometimes a challenge. I live not too far from the food bank and drive past it to get to my house. Several times I have sat and waited for trucks to get in and out and some have even gotten stuck in the ditch.

No one that works at the food bank complains. I love that about them. They just do their job and remain thankful for the resources they do have. Through that attitude and their hard work, they have now raised the money needed to break ground on a new facility off the bypass in Jonesboro. Through a partnership with the Reynolds Foundation, we will have a brand new building by next summer. I am so excited to see the wonderful things God will do with the new facility.

Here are some facts about our local food bank that might give you a better idea of how it works, what they do and who they serve:

Our local food bank serves 2.6 million pounds of food each year to 84 agencies. They will double or triple the amount with the new facility because they will have more warehouse space.

8% of recipients are elderly. This floors me because the need is so much greater than 8%. We have got to do more for our seniors!

25% of recipients are children. I know the need is also greater than this number.

5,100 people receive food assistance each week through these 84 agencies. 89% of these households have incomes below the poverty line.



Jonesboro's unemployment rate is higher than the state average. It is almost 9%. This makes the need greater.

I share this so you can see how hunger is a priority and that there are people who are making serving this need their focus each and every day. There is still so much more we can do to serve. Learn more about your area's food bank and how you can get involved.



Happy Food Friday!


Abby

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