Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Arkansas Foodbank working to keep Arkansans fed, here’s how you can help


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- As a result of the global pandemic, the world has come to a standstill.

Many people have lost their jobs and have found themselves in need of food.

KARK is teaming up with FOX16 and Kroger today on a way you can help out your neighbors in need.

Just getting your groceries is something many people take for granted, when that is taken away from you.

Just to put the great need into perspective, the Arkansas Foodbank gave away a million more pounds of food compared to March 2019.

More Arkansans than ever before are unsure where there meal will be.

“We are seeing the need of food in our community has reached astronomical proportions at this point,” says Sarah Riffle, Chief Development Officer of the Arkansas Foodbank.

Because of COVID-19, thousands in the state have found themselves without a job and paycheck, and quickly become food insecure. That means the Arkansas Foodbank is working around the clock to fill that need.

“We’re seeing about half of our increased clients right now are brand new visitors to our pantries,” Riffle says.

Riffle says that was evident in the food distribution held at the Outlets of Little Rock. Thousands of cars were lined up hoping to get food to take home. With limited boxes, the Foodbank simply ran out.

“We knew that the need was there and we knew the need was great, but the fact that we distributed all of that food under an hour, it’s not something that we were prepared for,” says Riffle.

She says it’s just one example of the great need for food in Arkansas. She says she doesn’t know how long this will last, but the food bank is preparing for the future.

“We know that as an employment assistance begins to run out as people utilize their stipend check and also, we don’t know what unemployment is going to look like when everything starts to ramp back up again,” Riffle says.

Riffle says for families needing food, they can go to local partner pantries.

You can text “FINDFOOD” to 844-381-FOOD (3663) and that will get you connected to a pantry in your area.

“That is the best, most reliable and consistent way for families to find food right now,” says Riffle.

For those fortunate enough to have food, you can donate to the Foodbank to help someone else.

You can easily do that at the Kroger register.

This is an opportunity to help, if you can, people in need across the state.

One dollar alone provides five meals.

Each Kroger store in the state is participating in this effort.

It’s the company’s “Zero Hunger Zero Waste” mission.

When you’re checking out, you can round your bill up to the nearest dollar, or one, five or $10.

You can also donate directly to the Arkansas Foodbank by clicking here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.