About

About The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance

The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, established in 2004, is a non-profit umbrella organization representing a network of Feeding America food banks and hunger relief organizations around the state. We work with local and national non-profit organizations as well as state and federal agencies in implementing programs designed to increase access to food and teach low income Arkansans the skills they need to make healthy food choices. We are also active in helping shape policy decisions impacting hunger in our state and in raising awareness of the educational, economic and social consequences of hunger.

The impact of our work has gained local and national recognition. The Alliance was named one of the three top non-profits by AY Magazine, a finalist for 2015 Arkansas Business Non-profit of the Year and Runner-up for Best Local Charity and Best Local Charity Event in the Arkansas Times Best of Arkansas 2014 reader survey. The Alliance was cited in the National Commission on Hunger’s final report to the US Congress for our innovative approaches to reducing hunger.

Our Commitment is Our Strength

The Alliance includes Arkansas Food Bank in Little Rock, the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas in Jonesboro, Harvest Regional Food Bank in Texarkana, Food Bank of North Central Arkansas in Norfork, Northwest Arkansas Food Bank in Bethel Heights, River Valley Regional Food Bank in Fort Smith and more than 400 local food pantries, soup kitchens, food rescue organizations, global food wholesalers and retailers, state level hunger programs and hunger advocates from around the state. Together we represent the best hope our state has for eliminating hunger and the economic, social and educational problems it causes.

 

Our Programs Make A Difference

Fighting hunger is a multi-dimensional challenge. The Alliance seeks to make nutritious food available to low-income children and families where they live, where they work, where they play and where they learn.

The impact of our work has gained local and national recognition. The Alliance was a finalist for 2015 Arkansas Business Non-profit of the Year and Runner-up for Best Local Charity and Best Local Charity Event in the Arkansas Times Best of Arkansas 2014 reader survey. The Alliance was cited in the National Commission on Hunger’s final report to the US Congress for our innovative approaches to reducing hunger.

Food Sourcing

Through our purchasing, donations and logistics programs the Alliance is able to secure food from state and national food suppliers for distribution to member food banks.

Arkansas Gleaning Project

Gleaning is the biblical practice of hand-gathering crops left after harvest. The Alliance and Society of St. Andrew volunteers glean fields and orchards donated by growers. The fresh produce goes to food banks, local pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.

SNAP Outreach

The Alliance helps identify Arkansans who are eligible for SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) but are not currently enrolled. SNAP benefits help Arkansas seniors, veterans, children and families who are struggling to keep food on their tables. SNAP benefits also provide significant economic stimulus to local economies.

School Breakfast Program

The Alliance’s Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign staff works with school districts and individual schools across the state to introduce Breakfast-After-the-Bell models that make breakfast part of the school day and insure more children get a nutritious breakfast every morning so they begin their days alert and ready to learn.

AfterSchool Meals Program

We connect churches, schools, boys and girls clubs and other organizations that focus on youth with the resources they need to provide meals to children when school is not in session. Additional capacity building grants from our national partner Share Our Strength, help sponsors serve more children and build sustainable programs.

Summer Meals Program

Children are especially vulnerable to food insecurity in the summer months. Our staff identifies organizations that are currently feeding children or want to start a feeding program and helps them apply for the USDA funded Summer Meal Service Program. The Summer Meals Program provides meals to children in safe, supervised locations.

Cooking Matters

Cooking Matters, an innovative nutrition education program offering 6-week Signature Courses, teaches individuals and families the skills they need to cook healthy meals and get the most from their food budgets.

Cooking Matters at the Store

These nutrition education programs teach low income individuals and families the skills they need to plan and shop for economical, healthy meals on a budget. These empowering programs have been shown to have the potential of reducing  a participant’s likelihood of remaining food insecure by as much as 50 percent.

Advocacy

Food policy plays a critical role in increasing access to adequate food. The Alliance works with state and national leaders in crafting legislation that will make access to healthy food and nutrition education available to Arkansas seniors, children and families.

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The Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign—for which the Alliance is lead partner—works to increase participation in USDA child nutrition programs such as National School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program to insure low-income children get the nutrition they need year around.

  • As of January 2016, more than 450 Arkansas schools are making breakfast part of the school day, and seeing improved attendance, fewer behavior problems, fewer trips to the nurse and improved classroom attention. Breakfast as part of the school day removes the stigma and eliminates early arrival transportation hardships.
  • In the 2014/15 school year, Arkansas saw a 2.8 percent increase in the number of students eating a school breakfast. This makes Arkansas 7th highest in the nation in student breakfast participation.
  • In 2015, the work of the Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign and partner organizations resulted in 224 sponsor organizations serving summer meals at more than 800 sites across the state.
  • Children who depend on school breakfast and lunch are at risk during the summer when school is not in session. During the summer of 2015, more than 2.4 million meals were served to Arkansas kids.
  • Through September 2014, 6.4 million meals were served to hungry kids in after school programs all around the state; that represented an increase of 1.3 million meals over the same period in 2013, thanks to the Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign and our partners. Final figures for 2015 are not yet available from the Arkansas Department of Human Service.