BUILDING BRIDGES FROM HUNGER TO HOPE
Our mission of Building Bridges from Hunger to Hope goes beyond providing meals to those in need. We believe that when our entire community comes together around issues of poverty and hunger, we are better able to provide resources and education to meet the long term needs of those we serve.
At the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas we endeavor to meet immediate needs by providing food and grocery items through a network of partner hunger relief organizations. Then, through an intentional effort of education and training, we endeavor to care for individual's long term needs. Classes include Shopping Matters, Cooking Matters, and Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World.
FROM SMALL BEGINNINGS TO FUTURE GROWTH
The Food Bank of North Central Arkansas had humble grassroots beginnings as the Norfork Community Care Program. In 1982, a devastating flood crippled the area, and thousands were displaced and in need of food and shelter. To meet the immediate need, Alice and Hubert Ayers established a soup kitchen out of their home in Norfork. With the help of many volunteers and the Salvation Army, they served flood victims and rescue workers. Today more than 2.7 million pounds of food are distributed annually throughout our nine county service area as a Partner Distribution Organization of Feeding America.
The campus of the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas is approximately 1.5 acres and is located on Highway 5 South in Norfork, Arkansas. The building was the former Norfork Public Schools and was built circa 1950's.
The Food Bank of North Central Arkansas is currently exploring opportunities for the growth of our organization. Over the past five years (with an average annual distribution growth of 13%) we have outgrown our current facility, and now depend on the generosity of warehouse owners in Cotter and Harrison, as well as other Food Banks across the state who allow us to warehouse items for short, and sometimes extended periods of time. While we are grateful for these gifts of space, warehousing our product in multiple locations across the state means added expenses of fuel, staff time, and wear/tear on vehicles. In addition, we estimate that we are turning away as much as 100,000 pounds of otherwise free food each month due to lack of space and the right kind of space.
UNDERSTANDING OUR NEED
Feeding America estimates that to bridge the meal gap in north central Arkansas we would need to distribute approximately 4.6 million pounds of food annually. During 2015 we distributed over 2.7 million pounds of food, and estimate that we will distribute nearly 3 million pounds of food in 2016. Having enough warehouse space and the right kind of space (refrigeration and freezer), would allow us to accept the donated foods mentioned above which could all but close the meal gap in our service area while reducing the amount of funds we spend on food purchases each year.
“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and
apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed
by the actions of human beings.” — Nelson Mandela
WHO WE ARE
JEFF QUICK - CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Jeff Quick currently serves as the President/Chief Executive Officer of the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas. Jeff is a native of Baxter County, and has served the organization as a volunteer (during his childhood and as a young adult), as a board member (from 2009 to 2011), and as Development Director (from February 2011 to May of 2012).
Jeff also serves as Secretary of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Mountain Home Rotary Board of Directors, member of the Mountain Home High School Career Academy's Business Advisory Committee, Board of Directors for the Community Connections for Youth and Families, Board of Directors for the Fairview Cemetery, member of the North Central Arkansas Board of Realtors Feed Our Children Committee, Chairperson of the Missions Committee at First United Methodist Church in Mountain Home, and as a member of the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church's Hunger Initiative Public Witness Team.
Jeff has spent much of the last decade of his life working to create communities without hunger across north central Arkansas. Prior to his work with the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas, he enjoyed a career in Real Estate where he served as President of the North Central Arkansas Board of Realtors. As a young adult he worked with United Methodist churches across Arkansas and Texas as a Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. During his time serving the church, Jeff served as Chairperson of the denomination's Global Initiative on Youth and Young Adults as well as the denominations General Council on Ministries.
Bridge Bash, the Food Bank's signature fundraising and awareness raising event, was Jeff's vision, providing more than 190,000 meals in its first year. Bridge Bash now provides over 500,000 meals and packages over 100,000 meals annually. The success of Bridge Bash offers the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas a new level of awareness throughout our nine county service area.
FROM THE CEO
The Food Bank and it's mission of Building Bridges from Hunger to Hope has always been close to my heart. Our organization has a rich heritage of humble servants who have guided and directed our work for almost four decades. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve our communities in north central Arkansas through my work with the Food Bank. I can't imagine a better organization to be affiliated with.
As we look forward to the future of the Food Bank, we know that there are an estimated 38,000 residents of our region that suffer from food insecurity. We know that the Food Bank should be distributing approximately 4.6 million pounds of food annually to meet the need. And more than anything, we know that we can only accomplish this when we work together.
I hope the legacy that I can leave the Food Bank is that during my tenure we can work together to provide the Food Bank the facility needed to meet the needs of our communities, that together we can endow the facilities of the Food Bank in a manner that undergirds its work for decades to come, and most importantly that we can bring hope to the lives of children, youth, adults, and our seniors that suffer from food insecurity.
I've always enjoyed working on projects that are larger than myself. Projects that require me to look beyond myself to my community and my God to be able to succeed. The work of the Food Bank is one of those projects! We have an incredible need in our region. Together, we WILL be able to Build Bridges from Hunger to Hope, and Create Communities without Hunger!
President/Chief Executive Officer
Vice-President/Chief Operations Officer
Program Coordinator/Food Pantry
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Logan Stone - Chairperson
Tiffany Watkins - Vice Chairperson
Jana Cowgill - Treasurer
Curtis Bryant - Secretary
Building Bridges from Hunger to Hope
Creating Communities without Hunger
WE BELIEVE ...
No child should go to bed hungry.
No senior citizen should have to choose between food and medication.
Parents should not have to decide between paying rent and feeding their children.
Families who are trying to do the right thing deserve a hand up.
A community working together can solve its problems.
PATHWAYS TO PROSPERITY
We believe the first pathway to prosperity is what we can do for ourselves, and what we can learn from one another to do for ourselves.
We believe the second pathway to prosperity comes through connecting our clients to the resources available to them.
We believe the third pathway to prosperity comes through the emergency food relief provided through the Food Bank’s network of hunger relief organizations.