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Oaklawn Foundation provides equipment to food bank
2016 – Hot Springs, Arkansas – The Oaklawn Foundation presented Project HOPE Food Bank a grant in the amount of $14,762 to purchase a 4,000 pound material lift and pallet shelves. The grant will complete the food bank’s expansion project started in 2015. The funding is crucial for program efficiency and will provide the added storage to warehouse pallets of food. This is important because of the increase in food distributions over the last few years. In the first six months of 2016 alone, the food bank has distributed 460,000 pounds of food compared to the 354,000 pounds distributed during the same period in 2015. The benefits of this grant will impact the community through alleviating hunger for many years to come.
To keep up with the growing demand for food in our community, Project HOPE Food Bank must work with extreme efficiency. Arkansas is ranked highest in the nation for the number of seniors struggling with food insecurity, according to the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger. Approximately 1 in 4 seniors (24.85%) face a constant battle with hunger, 9% over the national average. The number of Arkansas’s families struggling with food insecurity is estimated to be 19.1% second only to Mississippi.
Since 2007, The Oaklawn Foundation has provided $1,812,000 in scholarships to Garland County students. In addition to the scholarships, the foundation provided funding for the construction of the new Center on Aging through a partnership with the University of Arkansas
for Medical Sciences and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The Oaklawn Senior Health Care Center (OSHCC) was established in 2009 as the eighth Center on Aging in the Arkansas Aging Initiative. OSHCC is the fulfillment of a promise made in 2005 by the family of Charles Cella, the third-generation owner of Oaklawn Park Race Track.
Project HOPE Food Bank is a volunteer based operation, including our Director, Ted Thompson and Inventory Specialist, Charles Hood. We have 25 individuals to assist the food bank with daily operations and host over 400 volunteers throughout the year. Our warehouse space is donated and all of our equipment has been obtained through grants. This unique infrastructure allows the food bank to make a substantial impact on those in our community struggling with food insecurity. Your tax deductible donations are greatly appreciated and 96% of every dollar donated goes directly to alleviate hunger.
Blue & You for a Healthier Arkansas (cont...)
Children living in poverty often rely on the school breakfast/lunch program for the majority of their nutrition. This grant will provide food to sustain children during weekends and holidays. Closing the nutritional gaps assists children in maintaining better health and empowers better emotional and physical growth. The Blue & You Foundation’s partnership with the food bank will touch the lives of so many children in our community.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield established the Blue & You Foundation in 2001 as a charitable foundation to promote better health in Arkansas. The Blue & You Foundation awards grants annually to non-profit or governmental organizations and programs that positively affect the health of Arkansans. In its 14 years of operation, the Blue & You Foundation has awarded more than $24 million to 766 health improvement programs in Arkansas. “Our grants this year went to programs across the state that address such issues as nutrition and exercise, dental health, and medical professional education,” said Patrick O’Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation.
Project HOPE Food Bank, at the request of local schools established a Backpack Assistance program in 2015. The program has grown to providing food for children in three Arkansas counties and has had requests from schools in two more counties.
The food bank relies on individuals, business and foundations to provide funding to reach out to those in need. In 2015, Project HOPE Food Bank OPHhhdistributed 802,000 pounds of food to our 55 partnering agencies. Agencies included: Children’s homes and feeding programs, homeless shelters, charity kitchens along with faith based and community pantries. Distribution in 2015 increased 20% from the previous year.
State Representative John Vines partners with the Arkansas Hunger Alliance for backpack program (cont...)
Arkansas ranks second highest in the nation for the number of children facing food insecurity. To combat child hunger, in our community the food bank has developed a Backpack Assistance Program. Project HOPE Food Bank started the Backpack
Assistance Program at the request of area schools seeing an increase in the number of children struggling with hunger. In 2014, a grant from the Giving Circle through the Arkansas Community Foundation established our program. This grant provided funding to partner with area non-profits, business and individuals to provide backpacks to children in need.
To implement the program the food bank purchases nutritious food products through local and national distributers. We partner grants and donations to subsidize over fifty percent of wholesale food price. The food bank then partners with churches, individuals, organizations and other non-profits to provide the remaining funds for the backpacks. Some schools have backpack partners while other schools are in desperate need of partners.
The program utilizes trained teachers and school counselors to identify children struggling with food insecurity. This is usually accomplished through applications for reduced or free lunches. Often the identification process is validated by children coming to school hungry and struggling with learning. Children facing food insecurity struggle developing mentally, physically and emotionally. Often these developmental challenges will last through out their lives.
We have the opportunity to offer these children the same chances for success as their well-fed counterparts. If you are interested in partnering with the Project HOPE Food Bank, to provide nutrition over the weekends for children in need, please feel free to contact us at 501/623-3663 or come by 915b Gaines Ave., Hot Springs, AR.
YAC awards Project HOPE Food Bank a grant to provide food to children in need (cont...)
Walmart State Giving Grant (cont...)
Hot Springs, Arkansas, September 9, 2015 – Project Hope Food Bank today received a $27,000 contribution to assist with providing weekly food boxes to seniors across Southwest Arkansas. The grant – which was given to the non-profit organization through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program – will work to identify seniors in need and provide them with food boxes that provide the seniors with everything they need to eat for a week.
“Project HOPE Food Bank considers it an honor to partner with the Walmart State Giving Foundation to provide nutrition to seniors struggling with food insecurity” said Ted Thompson, Director of the food bank. “The program has been in operation for three years and has provided over 1,500 senior households food to close the nutritional gaps caused by food insecurity, thus assisting seniors in living healthier and more productive lives.”
The grant was presented to Project Hope Food Bank during a check presentation ceremony held at 2 p.m. today at the Food Bank in Hot Springs. During the ceremony, which was attended by board chairman State Representative John Vines, attendees learned more about the senior meal program that provide a week’s worth of nutritious food for seniors facing food insecurity challenges.
Project HOPE Food Bank will work in conjunction with several of the local agencies providing senior services for the distribution on the boxes. Through this partnership the identified senior receives food along with much-needed contact with a caring individual.
“The Walmart Foundation is very pleased to be supporting Project Hope, and is committed to helping those in need in the communities where we serve,” said Michael Lindsey, director of public affairs. “Through this grant, we are hopeful that residents in the state of Arkansas will continue to receive the food they need.”
The contribution to Project Hope was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s Arkansas State Giving Program. Through this program, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.
Magic Screams Food & Fund Drive
(December 17, 2015 – Steve Honeycutt, CEO and Kathy Marchese, Sales and Marketing director of Magic Springs & Crystal Falls presented Ted Thompson, Director of Project HOPE Food Bank a $1,000.00 contribution to help provide food for those in need this season. The donated funds were collected through our annual collaboration the “Magic Screams Monster Food Drive”, part of the Halloween event at Magic Springs & Crystal Falls. In 2015, the food drive was expanded to include a Monster Yard Sale. This event allowed Magic Springs employees to get involved by cleaning out their closets, hosting the yard sale and donating a portion of the proceeds to the food bank. The results were phenomenal! The hosted in an open air venue during the month of October and included a multitude of vendors under two huge pavilions. To add an additional spooky twist to this monster event was a blood drive benefiting Arkansas Blood Institute. “I would like to offer a special thanks to Steve Honeycutt, Kathy Marchese and all of the hard working employees of Magic Springs” said Ted Thompson. “The food bank has benefitted from your hard work and kindness.” Ted went on to say “This is one of our favorite food and fund raisers and we appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in making this a success.”
The donation will be used in the food subsidy program the hosted by Project HOPE Food Bank. This program reaches the largest number of people in need in our community. Currently the subsidy program has distributed 755,000 pounds of food to local agencies that serve those in need. These 45 agencies include children’s homes and feeding programs, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, crisis centers, and community and faith based pantries.
The food collected will be used to stretch the budgets of our programs that focus on people in food crisis. The emergency food box program focuses on families struggling with food insecurity. The families are identified through area schools, community counseling centers, cancer centers and our local charitable clinics. The foods will also be used in our Emergency Senior Food Box program. This program assists local seniors facing hunger. Arkansas currently ranks first in the nation for the number of seniors struggling with food insecurity. It is estimated over 240,000 Arkansans over the age of 60 are food insecure - nearly 40% of Arkansas seniors. The foods will be included in the food boxes and distributed through agencies that serve seniors in need.