Rice Depot, Foodbank celebrate being ‘United to Fight Hunger’

Arkansas Foodbank CEO Rhonda Sanders, left, and U.S. Senator John Boozman, right, unfurl a banner bearing the new identity for the Arkansas Foodbank, which combines the Foodbank’s name and the Arkansas Rice Depot’s logo to reflect the legacies of the two merged organizations. AUM PHOTO BY AMY FORBUS

Arkansas Foodbank CEO Rhonda Sanders, left, and U.S. Senator John Boozman, right, unfurl a banner bearing the new identity for the Arkansas Foodbank, which combines the Foodbank’s name and the Arkansas Rice Depot’s logo to reflect the legacies of the two merged organizations.
AUM PHOTO BY AMY FORBUS

LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas Rice Depot on March 30 celebrated the completion of their merger, which will increase their ability to provide Arkansans with healthy, nutritious food.

A new theme, “United to Fight Hunger,” reinforces the new organization’s mission and the shared goals of its two predecessors. The brand identity retains the Foodbank’s name and the visual identity of the Rice Depot, honoring the legacies of both organizations.

Foodbank CEO Rhonda Sanders thanked board members and staff for their vision and commitment to the mission.

“They have to be open to change and really, in a lot of ways, drastic change,” she said of the staff. “All of this while they’re still doing their day-to-day work, because we’re here to feed hungry people…. We have already distributed more food this time this year than we did last year.”

Many United Methodist churches are partners with the Foodbank, hosting food pantries, participating in backpack programs that feed school children on weekends and coordinating summer ministries that ensure children have access to food when school lunches are not available.

“This merger is tremendous. It’s two groups that both have been using the dollars they’re given—nobody does a better job of doing that, in helping so many people,” said U.S. Senator John Boozman. “This is a very bi-partisan effort. This is one thing that politics doesn’t enter into, shouldn’t enter into. This is about Republicans, Democrats, independents, working together for the greater good.”

“It’s work that we all do because of our personal faith, our belief, our passion,” Sanders said, emphasizing the ongoing need for community support.

“With this bigger, stronger organization, we can expand programs. We can take initiative. We can try new things,” said Foodbank board chair Jordan Johnson. “We can use the things that worked, that were good with both of these two groups—putting them together and be stronger financially, and be stronger from an efficiency perspective, and we can do a lot greater good.”

At the conclusion of the event, attendees participated in a service project: assembling packs of child-friendly, nutritious food for backpacks to be distributed in 26 schools and nine counties.