Arkansas Rice Depot Logo

The Arkansas Rice Depot

Arkansas Rice Depot Logo

Recently, I was asked to become involved with the Arkansas Rice Depot. I agreed immediately.

After agreeing, I decided that I had better look into what I was getting myself into.

What I found was impressive. I would like to highlight two things:

• 98% of your donation goes directly to buying and delivering food
• It is the only statewide, faith-based food bank in Arkansas

Yesterday, I attended a meeting at the Rice Depot facility in SWLR to see for this for myself.

Most impressive to me was the 2% administrative costs of the organization, meaning that 98¢ of every dollar goes directly to buying and delivering food to hungry people across our state, reaching over 15% of all Arkansans. They deliver more than 8 million pounds of food and supplies a year, serving over 900 hunger relief programs in Arkansas.

Is that not incredible? I’m not sure you could find any organization of any kind that that does so much for so little.

No less impressive to me is that while being a faith-based organization (formed in 1982 before ‘faith-based’ became a thing) they give with no strings attached. I like this because I believe that it doesn’t erect any barriers between the giver and the receiver. Givers don’t have to be a certain denomination and receivers aren’t required to profess a specific faith.

The only message is ‘If you are hungry, we will feed you. All are welcome at our table’.

There are so many impressive things about this organization that are worthy of this list. Please indulge me with one more.

President and CEO Laura Rhea defies description. From what I can tell, she is completely ego-less about what she has built, and the organization is a reflection of that. You won’t find a list of the Board of Directors on the website – I couldn’t anyway – and Laura has built an incredibly efficient operation that gives without any self-promotion whatsoever.

The boxes of food they distribute aren’t branded, the backpacks filled with food they give hungry school kids don’t have logos on them, and the entire operation goes about its business with a quiet efficiency and generosity of spirit that is a direct reflection of Laura’s tireless work. The Arkansas Rice Depot is incredibly fortunate to have her.

Please click through to the website, and especially the Food For Kids program, to see how you can help.

This organization is so worthy of your support, and your dollars have an immediate impact on the lives of the recipients of your generosity.

I would also be personally grateful if you would share this page with your friends and family, post it to your Facebook page, email it to everyone you know, etc., etc., etc. The handy links below make it easy.